As the weather gets cooler, it’s the perfect time for cozy drinks with friends and family. When you think of hot drinks, most people go immediately to cider or hot chocolate. But for wine lovers, this is the perfect season for hot red wine cocktails!
Check out my recommendations for a creative, classy take on your traditional cozy drinks.
Simple Apple Cider Wine
Cooler weather is a great time for hot cider. This hot red wine drink is a simple apple-cinnamon red wine recipe to keep you cozy, with classic fall flavors.
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tart apples
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 bottles California Zinfandel
Peel and cut apples.
Place cinnamon sticks and cloves on a cheesecloth folded to double thickness. Gather corners, and tie with a string.
Place the spice bag into a crockpot or saucepan on the stovetop. Add the wine, peeled apples, and lemon juice
Cover and cook on low, leaving to simmer. You’ll want to keep the heat low enough to avoid reducing, but warm enough to let the spices infuse.
Remove the spice bag before serving. Serve while warm
Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Who doesn’t love a rich, warm cup of hot chocolate? This grownup version of your favorite childhood treat can be made with your favorite dessert wine, and topped with whipped cream or marshmallows, for the perfect hot red wine treat for a winter’s day.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate shavings
3/4 cup red wine
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Leave the milk to simmer on low heat
Add in the chocolate chunks slowly, stirring to keep it smooth
Take the chocolate off the heat to avoid splitting, and add the wine and vanilla extract.
Top with cinnamon
Blackberry Mulled Hot Wine
Mulled wine is a holiday classic, and this blackberry version is a unique twist, with plenty of great flavors and warming spices. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
1 bottle Merlot
6 whole cloves
4 star anise pods
2 cinnamon sticks
2 juniper berries
5 giant blackberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
Pour Merlot into a saucepan, along with the spices and juniper berries.
Let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes on medium heat, to let the spices infuse.
Add in the brown sugar and orange. Simmer at least an additional 10 minutes, until sugar has dissolved and orange has infused with the wine and spices. Don’t let it boil.
Christmas Mulled Wine
Speaking of holiday flavors, try this party favorite mix of dry red wine and brandy. This hot wine recipe is super versatile. Choose your favorite dessert wine, and sweeten with brown sugar or maple syrup for a richer, sweeter flavor. If you’re more into a bitter drink, keep the peels on the oranges for a stronger flavor.
1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir
1 orange, sliced into rounds and peeled
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup brandy
Combine wine, brandy, spices, orange slices, and honey to a large saucepan. Stir to combine, then cook to medium-high heat and let simmer. Cover, and leave on low heat for at least 1 hour.
Strain fruits and spices. Serve immediately, or reheat slowly to serve warm.
Mulled wine is a seasonal favorite. But when you’re looking for a new twist on an old classic, sometimes, the traditional route is best. This recipe for Swedish Glogg uses familiar spices and some added flavors. We recommend a dry red wine that isn’t too sweet.
1 bottle of your favorite red wine
1 1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp cardamom pods
2 tbsp fresh ginger root slices
1 stick of cinnamon
2 tbsp almonds
Combine wine, bourbon, sugar, orange zest, cardamom pods, ginger root, and cinnamon stick, as well as 2 tsp of raisins to a pot. Heat on low and leave to simmer for 2 minutes. Don’t let it boil.
Remove from heat and let it steep for an hour before serving.
Strain fruit and spices
Reheat gently before serving
Serve with the remaining raisins and almonds. Garnish with orange slices.
Cooler weather means warm fires, cozy sweaters, and hot drinks. Whether you’re planning get-togethers with family, or cozy movie nights at home, these delicious hot wine drinks are perfect for long winter nights.