The leaves are finally changing and the crisp cool air is setting in, indicating that fall is officially upon us. As we gear up for the coziest season of the year, what better way to heat up than with warm wine-based cocktails? For cocktail lovers looking to experiment with something a little different this season, here is a list of innovative mulled wine cocktail recipes with a twist that feature domestic wines and will be sure to heat up hearts and souls this fall.
Mulled Cabernet Merlot Hot Chocolate
Hot cocoa, but better! The cocoa and spice aromas in Sumac Ridge Private Reserve Cabernet Merlot add up to the cinnamon and anise making this one of the best mulled wines you’ve ever had.
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4-star anise
- 8-10 cloves
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 bottle (750ml) Sumac Ridge Private Reserve Cabernet Merlot
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- a few orange slices to decorate
Add cocoa powder, cinnamon sticks, star anise, ginger and chocolate chips to a large saucepan. Pour in the water, then add the sugar and orange slices. Heat on medium heat, occasionally stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in the red wine. Heat gently for another minute or two until warmed through.
Mulled JT Riesling
This mulled Riesling cocktail is perfect for those who don’t usually drink warm red wines.
The relatively sweet Jackson-Triggs 2019 Grand Reserve Riesling offers fruity and floral aromas while taming the alcoholic mouthfeel.
- 750ml bottle Jackson-Triggs 2019 Grand Reserve Riesling
- 20ml Vanilla Liqueur
- 1.5 cinnamon sticks
- 1 apple
- 1 pear
- 1/2 grapefruit
- 3 cm knob of ginger
- 1-3 teaspoons honey
Add Riesling and vanilla liqueur to slow cooker. Slice apples and pear, take out seeds and cut them into 1 1cm rounds. Add fruits and peeled ginger to the slow cooker. Remove zest from grapefruit, and add to the pan with cinnamon sticks and honey. Cover and simmer for an hour. Serve warm.
Merlot Blackberry Mulled Wine
A few blackberries will add a lot of freshness and delicate acidity to classic mulled wine.
Add a medium-body red such as Jackson-Triggs 2020 Reserve Merlot to the mix for elegant notes of red fruit and forest floor. Perfect for a cozy night in!
- 350 g blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 300ml apple juice
- 50g caster sugar
- 4 cloves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 750ml bottle Jackson-Triggs 2020 Reserve Merlot
- optional – fresh apple for garnish
Add the blackberries, apple juice, caster sugar, cloves, vanilla and the cinnamon stick to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until reduced. Reduce the heat, pour in the red wine, then heat gently for 5 minutes until steaming. Strain and garnish with fresh blackberries and thin apple slices.
For those that prefer cool cocktails that warm the soul, turning to a classic for comfort is the next best thing.
Warm up with a fall-coloured Manhatt-Inn, made with the Canadian wine staple, Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine.
An East Coast classic gets a Canadian intervention with the addition of Cabernet Franc Icewine.
A lovely sip on warmer fall evenings.
- 2 ½ oz. Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine
- ¾ oz. rye whiskey
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- lemon peel
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, stir until cold, strain over one large ice cube into a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
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