It’s important to avoid oak when mulling white wine. Also, avoid wines with residual sweetness, or even a perception of sweetness, since you’re adding your own sugar. For this reason, stay away from some Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Torrontés and Viognier.
Aside from those rules, anything goes. Coriander seeds have a flavor somewhere between citrus, flowers and Froot Loops, and they’re perfect with mulled white wine. Elderflower fans will love the addition of St-Germain here. If you find it makes the mulled wine too sweet for your tastes, just add another glug of brandy to balance.
- 1 lemon
- 2 bottles dry white wine
- ½ cup sugar
- 8 allspice berries (or substitute 8 cloves)
- 3 whole star anise
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 6 cardamom pods, smashed
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices
- ½ cup brandy
- 1 cup St-Germain liqueur, or to taste
- Whole nutmeg, grated (for garnish)
- Mint stalks and blueberries (for garnish)
Scrub lemon well. Using vegetable peeler, carve large ribbons of lemon peel, then juice remaining fruit.
Add lemon peel, juice, 1 cup wine, sugar, allspice, star anise, coriander, cardamom and ginger to 3-quart stockpot or Dutch oven. Over high heat, bring to rolling boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add remaining wine, brandy and St-Germain. Heat until just below 170°F. Use candy thermometer to measure temperature. Grate nutmeg over top. Garnish with mint stalks and blueberries.