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Mulled Wine is good medicine

Amber Shehan December 14, 2011

Mulled wine is good medicine - a recipe from

Grumble. Mumble. 

I have a fever…a mild one, mind you, and I should be in bed.  But I promise I’ll do that in a minute. First I have to tell you about what I am drinking right now.

Cordials, elixirs and brews
Cordials, elixirs and brews

I am drinking some mulled wine.

Mulled wine is not just meant to be delicious, hot alcohol for pleasure alone. It can definitely be a good medicine when applied appropriately!

There are times when you are sick and so bone-weary tired that you’ve just slept the day away. This is a great way to heal, but once it is night, you can’t get to sleep! That’s the perfect time to warm yourself a cup of spiced mulled wine and sip it in bed with a book on your lap.

The best part is that you can make it in advance, store it in your cabinet, and pour out a glass as needed. Here’s how I make my mulled wine!

Mulled Wine

Buy some red wine. It doesn’t matter how cheap it is since we’re adding things to it and changing it. I tend to buy gallons of cheap burgundy wine and make big batches (and use the jugs for brewing later).

So. Pour your wine into a pot and put it on medium-low. Into the pot goes any number of the following herbs (click on the highlighted words to learn more!):

  • Cinnamon stick
  • Ground cardamom seeds
  • Ground grains of paradise peppercorns or black pepper
  • Rosehips
  • Dried orange slice (or fresh!)
  • A couple slices of fresh ginger
  • Damiana (for fun and flavor)
  • Honey or brown sugar to taste

Feel free to add other herbs that you tend to use when sick: elderflowers, chamomile, star anise, licorice root (just a bit!), yarrow, hyssop…the list goes on!

Don’t let this pot of wine boil, but give it some time to sit at a low heat, about for an hour or so should do. Allow it to cool. When it is cool, strain it into a bottle. I have been using the same old empty Irish Mist bottle since 2011 because it is lovely.  I use that bottle and pour a glass of spiced wine, as needed, but I never empty it! There’s always a cup or so left in the bottle so that I can brew more and add to it, keeping history in the bottle!

When I’m feeling sick, I just pour a mug of mulled wine and heat it on the stove (or microwave it for 30 seconds) and gosh, is it nice!

Drink your cup slowly while resting and let the rich flavors and the warmed alcohol lull you into a deep, restful sleep.

Cheers, to your health!

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Whenever I make medicinal mulled wine, I reach for two bottles. One, a regular bottle of red, whatever I have around, usually a Pinot noir or Shiraz. The second bottle has mulled wine in it already, a premade batch, a blend that has been working since 2011. Yup, that label is correct. You see, half of the old, dusty red wine goes into a pot on the stove. Then I add the same amount of regular red wine. Next, the aromatic spices and seeds, fresh ginger, and whatever medicinal herbs or fruit I have on hand. Elderberries, orange peel, rose hips, pine needles, astragalus, hibiscus are just a few I know I’ve used! There’s a cinnamon stick in the bottle itself, too. Finally, I add honey and sometimes brown sugar to taste. I never let it boil, just warm up and almost simmer. After a while, I strain two coffee mugs worth of wine and let the rest of the wine in the pan cool off. That gets strained and funneled into the old dusty bottle, which is returned to the cabinet full, ready for next time. I’m not sure why I started doing this ritual but it feels right to me. The tradition and continuation of the different medicines layered together over the years makes it feel magical. It isn’t just the medicinal qualities of it that delights, it’s the flavor, too. Over the years this bottle has transformed into a rich, spiced thick elixir of a wine. Ideally, this bottle will never be empty. #hearthwitch #herbalism #alewives #mayyouneverthirst #healingbooze #rewildingalcohol #kitchenwitch #cureswhatailsya

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Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!


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