A mug of warm spiced mulled wine on a cold day is a festive treat. But what if you’re not a drinker? Or do you want to include the kids in this festive tradition? So, is non-alcoholic mulled wine a thing?
Yes! Non-alcoholic mulled wine is a great way to celebrate the season. Even though some of the alcohol will evaporate during the heating process, mulled wine is still a potent drink, so having non-alcoholic options is a great idea.
To do this, the red wine can be replaced with red grape juice, cranberry or a mix of apple and pomegranate juice, or you can buy ready-made bottles of non-alcoholic red wine in most supermarkets.
Why would you make non-alcoholic mulled wine?
Non-alcoholic mulled wine is a great alternative for people who want to enjoy the taste and benefits of wine without the drawbacks of alcohol. Here are some reasons why:
- Religion: Some religions prohibit or discourage the consumption of alcohol, such as Islam, Buddhism, and Mormonism. Non-alcoholic wine allows people to follow their faith and still participate in social occasions that involve wine, such as weddings, parties and the Christmas festivities
- Alcohol addiction: People who struggle with alcohol addiction or are in recovery may find it hard to resist the temptation of drinking mulled wine, especially in situations where others are drinking. Non-alcoholic wine can help them avoid relapse and maintain sobriety, while still enjoying the flavour and spicy aroma of wine
- Gout: This is a form of arthritis which will cause painful joint inflammation and can be triggered by high blood levels of uric acid. Alcohol, especially wine, can increase the production of uric acid and worsen the symptoms of gout. Non-alcoholic wine can reduce the risk of gout flare-ups and provide some of the health benefits of wine, such as antioxidants and polyphenols, without the harmful effects of alcohol.
Non-alcoholic wine is not only a safe and healthy choice, but also a delicious and satisfying one. It can offer the same variety and complexity of flavours as normal mulled wine.
If you want to enjoy non-alcoholic mulled wine, or make some for guests who don’t drink alcohol, then making it is simple. You just:
- Grab a saucepan
- Pour in your juice
- Add the spices of your choice
- Heat it to the point of boiling, reduce the heat and simmer.
You then strain the ruby red potion and serve while still warm. For extra pizazz, add a couple of slices of orange or lemon.
Non-alcoholic mulled wine recipe by RACV
Of course, you can easily switch to using fruit juices to create a tasty, mulled wine, but what about using non-alcoholic wine?
Here’s a video from RACV (Royal Automobile Club of Victoria) that does just that – and adds apple juice and non-alcoholic gin (no, we didn’t know it was a thing either).
Again, you add a selection of fruit slices and spices to a pot and bring to a simmer.
This recipe uses a non-alcoholic shiraz wine and after gently simmering to a ‘temperature you can drink’, you dish up the wine and add a slice of fruit.
It’s a great solution on a bitterly cold winter’s day!
What are the benefits of drinking non-alcoholic mulled wine?
Limiting your alcohol consumption is great for your mental and physical health, whatever the time of year. For most of us, the joy of mulled wine is the comforting warmth on a cold day and the delicious spices. The familiar, yet unique, smell and flavour of mulled wine might also be a big part of the tradition and ritual of your Christmas. In short, more than with any other drink, the alcohol is secondary.
So, what are the benefits of drinking non-alcoholic mulled wine?
Let’s start with memories. You don’t need alcohol to have a good time and while mulled wine is a popular festive drink, you don’t have to go overboard. Drinking non-alcoholic versions means that you will still have a good time and remember them!
Also, it’s worth appreciating that the cinnamon, cloves and star anise have been shown to have beneficial effects on memory and cognition.
And drinking non-alcoholic mulled wine may also help with memories by creating a positive and festive mood.
Drinking alcohol disrupts sleep. When intoxicated, we imagine falling into bed and dropping to sleep in seconds. However, this sleep will be poor, and you’ll wake in the early hours feeling grim. At a time of year when lots of energy and a clear head is important, a bad night’s sleep is a problem.
Indulging in one too many mulled wines at your work-do will mean waking up with a hangover on the morning of the school nativity play or the annual trip into town for lunch and shopping with your Mum and sister, not fun! You’ll be tired, unwell and grumpy and won’t be able to enjoy what should be highlights of your year. With non-alcoholic mulled wine you will get to enjoy a festive drink, soak up the atmosphere and wake up the next day without a hangover – regardless of how many drinks you may have consumed.
With so many opportunities to meet friends and family, there are many opportunities to enjoy an alcoholic drink. With a non-alcoholic mulled wine, you will get to enjoy the fun that comes with meeting these people without overindulging – there will be other opportunities for drinking alcohol and restricting your alcohol intake over the festivities is good for your health (and wallet!).
Avoid festive season weight gain
Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying treats at Christmas. For many of us, the ‘excuse’ to eat indulgent puddings, quaff creamy Baileys and have a mince pie with every cup of tea is the best part of the festive season. Mulled wine made from non-concentrate juices and whole spices is nutritious and tastes great. You’ll still get the warming mulled wine ‘experience’ without the empty calories contained in alcohol.
You’ll be able to drive home
Sipping mulled wine as you wander around the beautifully decorated cabins is a big part of shopping at a Christmas market. It’s the warmth, the taste bud tingles and the feel of the chunky mug in gloved hands. Choosing non-alcoholic mulled wine means you can drive home and avoid juggling your bags of shopping on public transport.
Non-alcoholic Mulled Wine Recipe – Schwartz Cooking Club
We also really enjoyed this offering from Schwartz Cooking Club to create an impressive and tasty non-alcoholic mulled wine.
There are even mulled wine sachets you can buy with all of the spices and treats you need! That’s a great idea (and, we found, a really tasty one too). It’s also a sound investment since you won’t need to invest in jars of spices that you will rarely use after Christmas.
This recipe calls for warming apple and orange juice in a pan, adding two mulled wine sachets and then simmering for 10 minutes.
Remove the sachets, add orange slices, and then serve.
Perhaps the only downside is that it doesn’t look like wine, but it is a festive, spicy drink that children will enjoy.
What are the benefits of drinking non-alcoholic mulled wine – continued
You can share it with the children in your life
Christmas is so much more fun when there are children in your life to share it with. Creating a kid-friendly version of mulled wine is a great way to feel festive and teach the little ones about cooking with spices. If you have teenagers, using a flavourful juice such as pomegranate or cranberry will make them feel included without getting them tipsy.
Christmas.co.uk top tip: While most of the recipes recommend heating the liquid until it is hot but not boiling be wary about serving a hot liquid to children to avoid burns and scalds.
The proximity of extended family, financial worries and over-excited kids mean that Christmas can be stressful, even if it’s your favourite time of year. Adding alcohol into an already emotionally charged situation is a bad idea. Mulled wine doesn’t taste boozy, and it’s easy to drink mug after mug without thinking. Very soon, your ability to think rationally and keep calm has disappeared and you’re telling your sister-in-law exactly what you think of her parenting skills.
Recipes for non-alcoholic mulled wine
Looking for alcohol-free mulled wine recipes? Here are the Christmas.co.uk favourites.
This fruity mulled wine from Delicious Magazine has a mix of three juices.
750ml pomegranate juice
750ml red grape juice
500ml cranberry juice
One large orange sliced as half moons
The zest of one large orange as a garnish
5 x cloves
2 x cinnamon sticks
Several 3cm pieces of thinly sliced fresh ginger,
2 x sliced red apples
A spoon of runny honey
Pour all the juice into a large pan. Add the cloves, orange slices, ginger and cinnamon. Place the pan over a low-medium heat and stir until it is hot. Do not boil your mixture. Add the apple slices and the honey and stir until it dissolves. Serve the mulled punch in thick glasses and add a twisted strand of the orange’s zest to each one.
Good Food Magazine has a sweeter version of booze-free mulled wine.
- 500ml pomegranate juice
- 250ml apple juice
- 25g golden caster sugar
- 1 x star anise
- 1 x cinnamon stick
- 3 x black peppercorns
- 4 x cloves
- 1 x orange cut into quarters
Place the sugar, pomegranate and apple juice and the sugar in a saucepan. Add the cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, star anise and orange. Gently heat until simmering. Taste the mix for its sweetness before straining into a thick glass beaker.
Tips for non-alcoholic mulled wine
Here are some useful tips from the Christmas.co.uk team for you to enjoy your non-alcoholic mulled wine:
- Do not boil your mixture as it will add unwanted bitterness.
- Appreciate too that serving up a boiling liquid will lead to a burnt tongue!
- Serve your mulled wine with a garnish such as candied orange, chopped almonds or dried cranberries.
- Buy some festive chunky mugs or elegant heat-proof glasses to make your drink extra special.
- Experiment with different juices and spices until you find a recipe you love.