Hot mulled grape juice is full of those spices associated with autumn, winter and Christmas. Since it's non-alcoholic this juice is a warm and cosy drink the whole family can enjoy.
I can deny it all I like but December, and the official countdown to Christmas, is just about upon us. The weather has definitely turned more wintery and a few twinkly lights have already begun to appear in neighbouring gardens. That means it's time to crack open the mulled drinks. But, to my surprise, I find myself talking about Mulled Grape Juice rather than the more typical mulled wine.
My kids always get excited when I start serving up mulled apple juice. But my Pinterest feed has been chock-full of such recipes this year. That got my mind working on alternatives and well, since grape juice bears a striking resemblance to red wine, that's where my meanderings ended up.
This Mulled Grape Juice is packed full of all the usual flavours found in mulled wine - alcohol aside. It's a seasonal medley of juice, cranberries, oranges & lemons, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and ginger. My girls fell for it immediately. They've already requested it for Christmas Day.
And the best part about this Mulled Grape Juice is its simplicity. There's about 5 minutes’ worth of preparation, 10 minutes of cooking, 30 minutes of snoozing whilst the flavours infuse and then it's ready. It can be consumed straightaway or re-heated, so it's a great drink to prepare in advance of any party you are hosting. Oh, and it goes without saying that you could also pour some into pretty bottles and gift to hosts if you are the lucky partygoer.
Just for the record, I have a fantastic recipe for mulled wine, which I've made, without fail, every year for the past decade. Here it is. I think you'll agree, it looks exactly like mulled wine. Shocking. One day I'll get around to sharing the recipe on here. You'll love it.
But for now, let's enjoy the healthy and fruity delight that is Mulled Grape Juice - suitable for everybody to sip on and feel festive.
Mulled Grape Juice
- 1 litre/ 4 cups Grape juice (I recommend red, but purple will suffice)
- 1 Cinnamon stick (10cm)
- 1 Star Anise
- 6 Cloves
- 15g Fresh Ginger (about 3 x 1cm thick slices)
- 1 Orange - sliced into 6 rounds
- 2 Slices lemon
- 1 Handful fresh cranberries
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan and heat until almost boiling
- Turn off the heat an let infuse for 30 minutes
- Ladle into mugs and enjoy
- If cooling to reheat later, strain to remove the fruit ands spices. The flavour will naturally intensify. Add some fresh orange and cranberries when you reheat it
- Keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge. Reheat before serving