Archive for ‘Food’

December 17, 2014

Mary’s Famous Mulled Wine

A friend asked me to share again my recipe for mulled wine. Since my creations are usually more about concepts than recipes, I google searched and sent her Martha Stewart’s recipe.

It involved many, many ingredients with precise measurements and sequences. So afterwards I thought, she may or may not like that approach. For any of you who want the real recipe/concept for Mary’s Famous mulled wine, here’s what you do.

Large bottle of full-bodied red wine

It doesn’t have to be good red wine. Any old red wine will do. I have been known to do a u-brew of the cheap version but realized then I was left with 2 dozen bottles of cheap red wine. Now I make my normal batch of the higher-end version and think: well a bottle of the best homemade wine is the same price as the cheapest liquor store version.

Juice and/or fruit

I often add some apple juice–the kind that come in big glass jugs because then I can make spiced apple juice for the non-alcohol folk (although I should tell you that by the time the mulling is over, there’s not much alcohol content left in the mulled wine.)

I might slice oranges or apples or pretty much anything else. I haven’t ever added pomegranate seeds, but might try that. I don’t use bananas or grapefruit.


I put cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and star anise in a big tea ball or in cheesecloth. Lots.

If you’re ambitious, buy a whole bunch, and put some into little packets for your friends — it’s kind of annoying to have to buy a packet of each if this is all you’re ever going to use it for.

Sprinkling the ground spices does not work well.


Add brown sugar, honey or your own idea of a good sweetener. Maple syrup? never tried it – but let me know how it goes if you do. Ribena, probably would be good. Agave syrup? why not?

Part of the recipe here is that if I happen to have a bottle of Ribena that needs using up, I might just throw it in.

Things I would not add even though I might have them: clamato juice, chemical sweeteners, white sugar… well there are lots of things I wouldn’t put in. I just thought I’d make sure that although there’s not a lot of precision here, there are limits (for me–I don’t want to restrain your creativity though, so feel free.)


In a hot pot or on the stove with a ladle. I was at the Sally Anne, and a woman was asking everyone who came by the housewares section what to put her mulled wine in after it was hot. She didn’t seem to like my answer, so she bought a ceramic jug. I think that would be fine.

I’ve been known to take Mary’s Famous Mulled Wine to a friend’s house. I put it in a very large jar, take the hot pot -and an extension cord.


I often re-use the spice bundle for the next batch.

I put it in a jar in the fridge with some of the liquid as a “starter”.

PS – if I was going to use a recipe,this one looks great. Peach Schnapps??

And learning that juniper berries are a key part of gin, makes me feel very British.

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