This maybe the oldest drink in this app because it dates back to the Romans. They had a spiced wine they called Hippocras. Unfortunately there are no actual recipes for it. At least that I could find. Its not till the 1300s that the English and French start to specify the spices to use and its basically what we still use today. This is NOT a hippocras recipe, this is a more modern, more palatable spiced wine you would expect to find in a normal cocktail app.
Now the drink. Pick a medium dry wine. If its already sweet then you can’t really add your own sweetener like maple syrup or honey etc. This limits your ability to add complexity. These give you room to build more of your own flavors. Next up is spices. Long story short just read my mulling spices description. It can be summed up as don’t add too much and try and stick to just 4 different spices. Think cooking, you wouldn’t add a shit ton of salt or pepper to your fried eggs. It would be too much so you just do a light sprinkle. Same thing with this, just add 2 or 3 cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, etc. a little bit goes a very long way.
Next up is cooking. Most folks do this in a crock pot and for that I would just set it to warm. high, low and simmer are all too hot. Alcohol burns off at 173 f (78 c) and high, low and simmer all go to around 180 – 200 f. High just gets there faster than low and simmer, but warm only goes to about 160 f. You can do a slow cooker if you want but keep in mind you will burn off most of the booze even at the warm temp if you cook it for a long period of time. I think it cooks better if you do it faster in a normal stove top pot. Turn on the fire, pour it into the pot and quickly bring it up to heat. If you have a thermometer then stop around 160 or till you start to see a light vapor coming off the top. Once your hooch is up to temp, drop it to low, and add your sweetener and spices and then cook if for just 20 minutes. Most of the good flavors in your spices will come out in those first few minutes. Turn off the heat, fish out the spices, add your bourbon, and serve. And that’s it. Serve it, put a lid on it, put it in a thermos, reheat it when you want more a little later, but stop the long term higher temperature cooking. Some folks cook this stuff for hours but I think that’s a little excessive. You won’t get anymore good flavor out of it and you will just burns off booze.
Mulled Wine ingredients:
- 60 mls (2 oz) Red Wine
- 30 mls (1 oz) Brandy
- 15 mls (1/2 oz) Honey
- Pick 4 or 5 of the following Spices: All spice berries, cloves, cinnamon stick, orange peels, star anise, coriander, ginger, cardamom, black peppercorns
Combine spices, honey, and wine in a stove top pot and heat to 71c (160f) or till vapor starts to appear. Maintain this temperature and cook for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes turn off the heat and remove the spices. Add the fortifying spirit to the mulled wine and serve.
ABV = 15%
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