This mulled white wine is easy to make and so warming AND refreshing! It is made with fresh, ripe pears, ginger, and some mulling spices like vanilla, allspice, and cardamom. It's a little different mulled wine, perfect for any time of the year - even a late summer or early fall evening!
Sometimes we crave red wine, sometimes we crave white wine. The same should go for mulled wine, mulled red wine is dominant across the Internet, but I've been wanting mulled white wine for a long time.
In Norway, we usually drink non-alcoholic mulled 'wine' (gløgg), so I will provide you with a way to make this white version non-alcoholic too!
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this recipe if you
- love wine, especially white
- and warm drinks (then I also recommend these 22 cozy fall drinks!),
- mulling spices (see related recipes below for more inspo),
- and pitcher cocktails (hello pitcher-mojito and white wine green tea sangria)
- that can be made in advance,
- and that is easy!
It is also perfect for those of us who love mulled wine but feel that we can't drink it anytime other than during Christmas.
Just like when I crave gingerbread other times of the year and make brown butter frosting for my cupcakes or cakes instead. It's called a life hack (or cheating, whatever).
- Ripe pear - the better the pear, the better this will be OBVIOUSLY. There's no use in a hard pear that doesn't taste like anything.
- Ginger - to get some oomph and some spice! If you're not a huge ginger fan, you may want to omit it or reduce it to 1 teaspoon. I love ginger and pear together so I go all in. If you do too, make sure you check out my ginger pear bellini!
- Water - this is to help blend the pears and ginger.
- Vanilla bean paste - for ease, you can use vanilla bean paste to get that pungent vanilla flavor. Pure vanilla extract can be used in a pinch, but I really recommend either vanilla bean paste or 1 real vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds and use both seeds and pod in the saucepan. That is the next level!
- Whole allspice - I recommend using whole spices in mulling recipes. That is because the ground spices will not dissolve into the drink and it will become murky. The ground spices are too fine to be sifted out too. However, if these are not any of your concerns, it will get the same flavor using ground!
- Green cardamom pods - you can lightly crush them if you want more flavor, or keep them whole for a less prominent cardamom flavor. If you wonder how you can use the rest of your bag of green cardamom pods - these cardamom buns are the answer.
- White wine - wouldn't be mulled white wine without the white wine, would it? I prefer to use a dry white wine, but there's no hard and fast rule here.
- Cointreau - I just couldn't resist adding some orange liqueur. Cointreau is fantastic in so many cocktails, and I think it works really well here. You can omit it if you want less alcohol!
- Honey - to sweeten the drink. If you find the drink sweet enough on its own, you don't have to add any honey. I love the flavor of honey with these other ingredients, but you can use whatever sweetener you want. And however much or little as you want too!
Add chopped pear, chopped ginger, and water to a blender and blend until smooth (1). It doesn't have to be perfect, but the more liquid it is, the more of the actual pear you will get into your drink later.
Add this pear mixture to a saucepan (2) along with vanilla bean paste, allspice, and cardamom pods (3). Over medium heat, bring it up to a simmer and take it off the heat for at least 10 minutes to infuse.
Strain the pear mixture (4) and rinse out the saucepan. Pour the strained pear liquid and the white wine, Cointreau, and honey into the saucepan (5-8). Taste before adding the honey, in case you don't want any more sweetener. Add to your taste.
Over low heat, warm up the mulled white wine until you see smoke but it’s not yet simmering. Serve right away. I like to garnish each cup with a slice of pear and ginger.
Leftovers can be stored in a tight bottle in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. When reheating, add to a saucepan and heat over low heat. Again, until you see smoke but it's not yet simmering.
What is mulled wine? Why is it called 'mulled'?
Mulled wine is made with warm wine and mulling spices. It is traditionally made with warm, red wine, although no one says we can't make it with white too.
So what makes it mulled is the mulling spices. So what are mulling spices? Well, they are warming spices. Spices that warm you up, cozy spices. These spices include cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, vanilla, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, and even peppercorns.
I use different mulling spices in different recipes, not because others wouldn't work, but because I love the variety! If you do too, you will love this different calendula mulled grapefruit cider, classic apple cider, and of course the Nordic gløgg.
Why should mulled wine not boil or simmer?
Mulled wine should not boil because alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water. Ethanol alcohols (drinking alcohols) have a boiling point of around 173℉ (78℃), so if we want to still call it a cocktail - we should not heat it above this point.
Heating the mixture too much, you run the risk of bitter aromas developing and the delicate fruit aromas being lost.
However, there's no need to dig out your thermometer for this, just make sure the mixture is not yet simmering, but hot enough to drink. If it simmers a little bit before you managed to take it off the heat, don't worry about it!
Mulled wine alcohol content
So, talking about alcohol content. For a mulled wine to legally be called a mulled wine in Germany, it must have an alcohol content of somewhere around 7+%, but no more than 14.5% vol.
The wine I used here had 12% alcohol, and when mixed with all the other ingredients in this recipe, it ends up at 5.5%. This actually means it's not a mulled wine in Germany, but if you choose a 14% wine, it ends up at 7.9%.
If you want to check with your wine, The Spruce Eats tells you how.
Mulled wine spices
You can use any variety of mulling spices. These spices include, as mentioned above, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, vanilla, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, and even peppercorns.
You can use this recipe for pretty much any fruit you have. Here are my examples:
- Apple + cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice
- Lemon juice (no need to blend it) + ginger, mint, and cardamom
- Mango + cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
- Nectarine or peach + allspice, ginger, and nutmeg
Somehow some fruits are better suited for red wine in my opinion, so I would avoid those (however they could still be delicious). For example pomegranate, plum, cranberry, and cherries. This reminds me that you should also check out my cranberry sangria!
Non-alcoholic mulled white wine
So I know I just said that for a mulled wine to be called mulled wine (in Germany), it needs to have 7-14.5% alcohol. Don't worry about it, I think you can make it non-alcoholic and still enjoy it the same way.
It's SO easy too! Instead of the wine and the Cointreau, use apple or pear juice. You may need less sweetener than with the alcohol, but just taste as you go along. Add a splash (¼ cup) of orange juice too to compensate for the Cointreau.
Either way - enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more mulled recipes I think you’d love:
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Tuesday 20th of September 2022
This drink looks so luxurious I cant wait to make this for my book club! Thank you!
Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice
Tuesday 20th of September 2022
A book club sounds like so much fun, enjoy!