I agree, there is nothing quite like mulled wine to warm a body and soul...
Last winter, here in town where I live, my Austrian neighbors taught me how to make gluhwein, along with physical experience of this treat, from the old country while we illegally burned some yard brush in a vacant lot near our homes. It was perhaps not good permaculture, but it was romantic, since we were celebrating our first snow and a full moon. I can share a bit of what Andrew said as well as my own modifications.
Andrew does recommend cheap red wine. He buys it by the box. He buys organic oranges and adds a few slices with the peels intact. He adds sugar.
I buy cheap sweet wine, such as a rosy moscato or even a bottled "sangria" so I don't add any further sweeteners. I tend to juice a full nectarine and just add the juice, since I am not patient enough to coax out sufficient citrus flavor from sliced fruit.
From there on, we share the same recipe per bottle of wine: 2 whole star anise, 3 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3-4 whole cardamom pods and part (maybe 1/4) of whole nutmeg that has been cracked open with a gentle knock of a hammer.
Using my shortcut of adding juice, I am shocked at how fast the spices infuse into the wine, and it doesn't really take long to have complete flavor. The trick is to not leave it simmering too long or put in too many spices.
Another key is to keep a tight lid on it, and respect the balance between warming/ infusing the drink with losing alcohol to evaporation.
I prefer mulled cider as a lot of the mulled wine you get at Christmas markets is far too sweet in my opinion. After making it for years at farmers markets I made it so much of it I never needed to weigh the spices, however you can add all the usual ingredients you would add to a mulled wine in similar quantities.
As a minmum I would add:
Extremely dry strong still cider (the alcoholic kind)
Apple juice to taste (what you call cider if you are North American)
Cinnamon (the most important spice as it goes well with apple)-Use the ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) as the other type is fairly toxic in large amounts.
Ahhh yes. I truly discovered mulled wine not long ago from an herbal friend.
Nice highlights to those above!!! Juniper berries great idea. Black pepper?!?! Hm!
Im a bit of an herbalism junkie and foodie and not a massive sweets guys so I took on a red / dry table wine.
I added pear slices and blood orange juice (2-3 oranges) and apple (A little fresh apple and dried apple for flavor).
I threw in some star anise.
Cardamon , FRESH GROUND nutmeg, whole cinna sticks and shaved a little off one, vanilla and a sprinkle of coriander powder.
Then, I took a healthy does of herbalism and added Ashwaghanda root(horse root) and blue lotus petals (used in egyptian wine making) and rose petals and hibiscus petals and Nettles!>> I also added some slippery elm and astragalus root lightly.
With these flowers and adaptogens, my intention was flavor but also happy bodies too for a sustained warmth and buzz It made the tea spiced, fruity and earthy all at once. Mmmm yes.
I threw most of these herbs in a cheesecloth pouch or tea bag. Left the fruit whole and open. Threw it all in a crock pot and let it be warm until it was gone.
I sweetened it to taste with some good local honey.
MMM!!! It was mighty and the whole slew of us were delighted.
(Note: I do not list proportions here. Follow your nose! My tea making and medicine mixing over time has tempered my idea of amounts to add depending on volume. I listed all this for ingredient ideas)
Cheap and easy way to mull wine, chai teabags simmered with red wine
Some years ago, my father was staying at a friends and had leftover mulled wine from their winter solstice dinner party. Also a big chunk of corned beef, prob 700+gms. So, inventive as always, decided to put them together in a slow cooker, top up with water to mostly cover the meat, and see what happens. I was visiting too, and it was Delicious! Capital d required.
It was I believe similar mull recipe to some of the ones posted here, with indian spices.
So good, we tried to recreate it few weeks later from scratch, but, as you can guess, it was better with the leftovers.
Possibly leftovers could be utilised in an pasta sauce, or mulled wine meatballs?
One of my favorite health sites, Nutrition facts.org, raved about the antioxidants in cloves, so I thought- how to consume them? This is nearly a commandment to me, as I aspire to be healthy. Clove cigarettes seemed to be a poor solution. I had some mulled wine last winter and thought it was great. I do worry a bit about the pesticides in non-organic citrus peel, although many rave about the health benefits of citrus peel. I grow flying dragon trifoliate orange, which is small, hardy for most Americans, and since I grow it, is not only organic but of permaculture quality. I found that if I fermented the flying dragon peel with my sauerkraut, it is milder and less difficult to eat. I'm going to combine them with my box wine! I like all of your ideas and I think I'm going to mix them and make my own recipe this winter.