Mulled wine is a cold-weather classic. Warm, rich and spiced—it's perhaps the second coziest beverage in the world (behind hot cocoa). But is it worth nearly $100 for just one glass? Searcys, a Champagne bar in London, is selling the world’s most expensive mulled wine for £60 (about $94) a pop. There’s some justification for the price tag. This is a cocktail made from some very nice wines and spirits: Château des Gravières (a Merlot-forward Bordeaux), Lanson Père et Fils Champagne, Blanche de Normandie (an eau-de-vie) and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (a French dessert wine) for a honeyed finish. Of course, the drink is also flavored with classic mulling spices like cinnamon and cloves—none of which are gold-plated or from any particularly exotic, faraway place.
While we’re sure the drink tastes great, a simple glass of mulled wine made with much cheaper ingredients is still intensely satisfying. Here, five ways to make the warming winter cocktail at home.
1. Mulled Red Wine with Muscovado Sugar
This fennel-spiced wine is terrific for parties because it can be made up to three days ahead of time.
For this version of Swedish mulled wine, chef Marcus Samuelsson spikes white wine and rosé with vodka infused with cardamom and ginger.
3. Hot Spiced Wine
Red wine and kirsch (a brandy made from cherries) are the base for this delicious seasonal drink, which is laced with citrus and warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper.
This aromatic hot punch is best when made with a fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir.
5. Spiced Red Wine Punch
Fresh ginger gives this rich and fruity punch terrific spice.