I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of a cocktail — and today I’m in good company! Do you remember this past summer when I collaborated with a handful of my favourite food bloggers to create a patio-inspired drink? It was a blast and we figured it was about time to do it again! I’m elated to share my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine as part of our second Connecting Over Cocktails collab — this time with a cozy, seasonal flavour focus! If you’re looking for some fantastic cocktail ideas as we transition into the holiday season, we have some serious cocktail inspiration in store for you today. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for seven festive cocktail recipes from my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members. Cheers to creative collaboration and connecting over cocktails!
‘Tis the season for my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine — a sophisticated twist on a holiday classic! Luxurious flavours of pomegranate and vanilla mix and mingle with robust Zinfandel, clementines, honey, cloves, star anise and a touch of nutmeg to warm you from the inside out! This mulled wine is chock full of antioxidants and healing spices, because who doesn’t love a festive beverage with feel good health benefits? If you’re hosting a holiday celebration this season and looking for a crowd-pleasing beverage to serve, welcome guests with a warm mug of Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine. It’s the ultimate in cold weather comfort — like a cashmere sweater for your taste buds!
VANILLA POMEGRANATE MULLED WINE
Have you ever had mulled wine? To be totally honest with you, I’ve sipped on mulled wine occasionally over the years and been less than wowed by it. But this year, I received an overwhelming number of requests to create a mulled wine recipe — so I set out to make an extraordinary mulled wine for you! I’ve fallen deeply in love with this Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine — so much so that I’ve been recipe testing and tweaking almost every day this week (and then enjoying a little bit extra as I worked on this post to really get into the holiday spirit!). If you love a deep, comforting glass of red wine and warming, seasonal flavours, I guarantee you’ll love this recipe too. It’s intoxicating — both literately and figuratively!
Most of the time, my boyfriend is my first taste tester. I knew I was onto something when he came home from work at an ungodly hour earlier this week and I poured him a glass of my first batch as he curled up in front of the fireplace to unwind. Adam loves wine just as much as I do, but mulled wine was completely new to him. He said that it was “really nice” and that “it would be perfect for the holidays.” Those were my thoughts, exactly! But when he asked for another glass, I knew it was a keeper.
In researching this recipe, I learned that there are 2 types of mulled wine. One is non-alcoholic, as the alcohol evaporates in the mulling process. The other is alcoholic — and I’ll give you 2 guesses which one this is! My Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine is prepared in a way that all these wonderful seasonal flavours and spices infuse fully into the mixture — adding the Zinfandel last and just warming it through to ensure the alcohol content is preserved. Because of my love (obsession?) with sangria, I added a hit of Italian vanilla liquer to kick this mulled wine up a notch — after all, mulled wine really is just warm, spiced sangria, prepared differently! The Galliano Vanilla Liqueur I used in this recipe is a sweet herbal liqueur with a huge dose of smooth vanilla goodness. It also has subtle anise, citrus and woodsy undertones — it pairs perfectly with the seasonal flavour profile of this mulled wine.
I love pomegranates at this time of year — and I’m a sucker for pomegranate-infused holiday beverages (case in point — last year’s Sparking Pomegranate Cranberry Sangria!). Mulled wine recipes are notorious for their similar ingredients (yawn!) so I knew I wanted to create something really unique. I infused my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine with luxurious flavours of, you guessed it — pomegranate and vanilla. Pomegranate brings a beautiful depth to this mulled wine, which is also infused with real vanilla beans and local honey. These softer flavours provide and an ultra smooth finish and comforting, mellow undertones. I’ve also included seasonal cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to gently kiss this mulled wine with spice. And last but not least, citrusy clementines round things out with their aromatic brightness, gorgeous hue and quintessential holiday flavour.
Serves 12 – 16
• 2 bottles Zinfandel (or fruity red wine of your choice)
• 1/2 cup Galliano Vanilla Liqueur
• 1 cup pomegranate arils (approximately 1 pomegranate)
• 4 clementines
• 1/2 cup honey (locally made Drizzle honey is my favourite!)
• 1 vanilla pod
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 clove of nutmeg (find them in the bulk section at your local health food store)
• 2 star anise
1. Start by deseeding your pomegranate — or pick up some ready-to-go arils from your local grocery store. Typically, one average sized pomegranate will yield 1 cup of seeds, however, a little more or a little less won’t hurt!
2. Add pomegranate arils to a large pot with honey, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Using a fine grater, grate your nutmeg clove appropriately 15 times over the pot, rotating the nutmeg as you go. Slice your vanilla pod down the centre lengthwise and add to the pot as well.
3. Using your fine grater, zest one clementine into the mixture. Juice the clementine into the pot when you’ve finished zesting it.
4. Set your burner to medium heat and allow the mixture to boil for 10 minutes to infuse the honey mixture with pomegranate, vanilla and spices.
5. After 10 minutes, pour the pot contents over a fine strainer. Retain the honey infused mixture, adding it back into the pot along with the cinnamon sticks.
6. Return the pot to a burner set to low heat. Add Zinfandel and juice from the remaining 3 clementines. Stir to combine and continue to warm your mulled wine over low heat for 5 minutes (whatever you do, don’t let it boil!).
7. Turn your burner off and add 1/2 cup of vanilla liquer to the mixture. Stir to combine.
8. Ladle your Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine into heat-proof serving glasses and complete each cocktail with a seasonal garnish. Some festive options include clementine slices (they float!), cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, star anise and pomegranate arils. Cheers!
- • 2 bottles Zinfandel
- • 1/2 cup Galliano Vanilla Liqueur
- • 1 cup pomegranate arils
- • 4 clementines
- • 1/2 cup honey
- • 1 vanilla pod
- • 2 cinnamon sticks
- • 1 clove of nutmeg
- • 2 star anise
- Start by deseeding your pomegranate -- or pick up some ready-to-go arils from your local grocery store. Typically, one average sized pomegranate will yield 1 cup of seeds, however, a little more or a little less won't hurt!
- Add pomegranate arils to a large pot with honey, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Using a fine grater, grate your nutmeg clove appropriately 15 times over the pot, rotating the nutmeg as you go. Slice your vanilla pod down the centre lengthwise and add to the pot as well.
- Using your fine grater, zest one clementine into the mixture. Juice the clementine into the pot when you've finished zesting it.
- Set your burner to medium heat and allow the mixture to boil for 10 minutes to infuse the honey mixture with pomegranate, vanilla and spices.
- After 10 minutes, pour the pot contents over a fine strainer. Retain the honey infused mixture, adding it back into the pot along with the cinnamon sticks.
- Return the pot to a burner set to low heat. Add Zinfandel and juice from the remaining 3 clementines. Stir to combine and continue to warm your mulled wine over low heat for 5 minutes (whatever you do, don't let it boil!).
- Turn your burner off and add 1/2 cup of vanilla liquer to the mixture. Stir to combine.
- Ladle your Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine into heat-proof serving glasses and complete each cocktail with a seasonal garnish. Some festive options include clementine slices (they float!), cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, star anise and pomegranate arils. Cheers!
CONNECTING OVER COCKTAILS LINK PARTY | COZY EDITION
Looking for more seasonal cocktail inspiration? Check out these cozy cocktails from some of my favourite Canadian food bloggers! Not only are my foodie friends insanely talented — their passion, creativity and dedication to their craft is a constant inspiration to me. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community and count these beautiful people as friends — I hope you enjoy their blogs (and their work) just as much as I do! Be sure to swing by for a festive cocktail this holiday season and tell them I sent you!
Cassie at Crumb Kitchen’s Sinful Boozy Orange Hot Chocolate
Dana at Killing Thyme’s Caramel Apple Sangria
Jared at The Hesitant Chef’s Foamy Blanket Cocktail (Rum Nog Sour)
Jen at Mud on Her Boots‘s Winter Spice Maple Infused Hot Toddy
Sean at Diversivore’s Night Heron
Taylor at The Girl on Bloor’s Champagne Pomegranate Spritzers
P.S. – You can index our recipes via social media with the hashtag #FBCconnectingovercocktails, if that’s your preferred method of browsing!
WINE LOVER? I’VE GOT YOU COVERED
What’s your favourite holiday cocktail? I’m eager to play around with other mulled beverages this season and family also has a delicious egg nog recipe that I’ve been dying to give a dairy free spin! As always, if you try my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine (or any of the other cocktails in this roundup) leave me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook! Use the hashtag #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations on social media so I can find them — I love it when you guys tag me so I can see what you make! Cheers, my friends.
This recipe was featured in Redbook’s ‘11 Fall Drinks that will Warm You Right Up‘ roundup.
Disclaimer: Thank you to HomeSense for this gorgeous crystal decanter and wine opener — they make an appearance in an upcoming New Years Eve entertaining post I can’t wait to share with you next month! This post is not sponsored, and contains my genuine thoughts, ideas and recommendations. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that support JustineCelina.com!