Mulled Wine in Singapore (Updated)

… is not very popular.

Or maybe it’s not its time yet.

Firstly, we are just maturing as a nation of wine drinkers. Maybe not even that.

Secondly, mulled wine is served warm to beat the winter’s chill. Singapore is tropical.

But I would like to see a local take on mulled wine.

At this time of the year, I think some expat-oriented supermarkets may actually have mulled wine packs. I have seen those previously, though my days of exploring supermarkets leisurely seems to be over. (Thanks, Zoe!)

So they sell these packages of selected spices – cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamon, and maybe other herbs and spices, which you would boil and add to the wine. Or vice versa. I never really explored the method.

But I did recently, because somehow the topic of mulled wine came up (Thanks Esther!)

So I search YouTube for recipes, and it seemed interesting.

There are two reasons to drink mulled wine. One, it’s sweet. You add a ton of sugar to the wine (I may be exaggerating).

Two, it’s still pretty “boozy” says one YouTuber. And to make sure it is really boozy, you can always fortify the mulled wine with Grand Marnier, or your favourite liqueur.

But, what about a localised mulled wine recipe?

I would like to see some brave soul use a bak kut teh spice bag to mull wine. With sugar of course. Try it and let me know if it tastes good.

But the real reason to mull wine is so you can add it to hot chocolate,

“You’re going to use real chocolate,” he said, not cocoa powder, and warm it with milk and a bit of condensed milk for extra silkiness.

“Finished chocolate has all the flavour you want,” he said.

“It’s smooth and silky; it doesn’t have any bitterness.”

Mr Torres also suggested an important deviation from most of the recipes out there: Do not heat up the wine and the chocolate together. Make your hot chocolate and separately make some mulled wine; only then should the two be combined.

To mull wine, you need sugar, and some spices and fruit peels/zest. Whatever you like. In a pan, heat up a quarter bottle of wine, with your chosen spices and sugar/brown sugar/honey. When this has become a syrup, lower the heat and add the rest of the wine. You don’t want to cook all the wine, because, that will cause some if not most of the alcohol to evaporate. So use only a quarter of the wine to make the syrup, then add the rest of the wine.

Of course you can then fortify the mulled wine with other liqueurs.

[Dec 25 2016 Update: 

Okay. I’ve tried making mulled wine. My recommendation is, not worth the trouble.

Here’s a fast and easy version (not tried yet, but I’m sure it will work).

Buy a bottle of Sangria. 

Open it and drop one or two sticks of cinnamon into the bottle.

Optional, add other spices like cloves (3 or 4), star anise (just one), and allspice berries (3 or 4).

Leave the spices to infuse the Sangria. Overnight would be best, but at least 4 hours, I estimate.

To serve pour into microwave safe mugs, and zap in the microwave for 40 to 60 sec. Discreetly dispose of the Sangria bottle. Or bottles.

Sip with your friends and comment on the subtle (if not easily detected) aroma of cinnamon.

Act hurt if friends claim they can’t detect it.]


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