Also known as “hot spiced wine” or the-best-thing-to-ever-happen-to-a-cold-night, mulled wine makes a remarkably thoughtful hostess gift. Mulled wine’s classic holiday flavor comes from familiar spices like nutmeg and cloves, which are also used to flavor seasonal cakes and cookies.
Pulling this comfort-in-a-mug gift off with elegance is easy. Grab a box of your friend or family member’s favorite wine (we’d suggest cabernet, pinot noir or chardonnay as a base) then add a darling DIY satchel of spices to put it all together.
With little-to-no effort, you can wrap up the spices in a twine-tied square of cheesecloth or fill a large metal tea ball with dried goodies like cider spices, cloves, star anise, tropical evergreen tree flower buds, cranberries, ginger…or whatever else your holiday-loving heart desires.
On a holiday note card, write out the mixing instructions for the hostess:
“Add these spices to your wine, steep and heat for a tasty treat!”
Craving more detail for that holiday card? Suggest stirring the mix on the stove in a large non-aluminum pot over medium-low heat until steam begins to rise. No need to boil (really, don’t do it). Keep warm over very low heat until it’s ready to serve. Ladle into cups and garnish with citrus zest, if you really want to get fancy. Wine can also be mulled for longer in a slow cooker.
Here’s a no-fail DIY mulled wine recipe we love:
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp whole allspice berries
- 1/2" piece of cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp. sugar (we suggest turbinado or "raw" sugar)
- 1 tsp. dried orange rind