Agonising about how to make a good substitute for potent, punchy and booze laden mulled wine, for the school Christmas Concert I started researching how to reduce alcohol from wine, as well as the many varieties of spice used to give that lovely flavour. I do like a bit of heat and the alcoholic hum you get from hot spicy booze, but it just wasn't an option.
Alcohol in wine varies hugely, scanning the shelves most were 14%, the lowest I found was 8%. It seems a while since most wine maxed out at 11%. Received wisdom says that if you boil wine or spirits for 30 seconds th alcohol is reduced to almost nothing. That's still almost, not nothing. The answer? Grape juice.
1l grape juice (good quality red)
500ml cranberry juice
500ml orange juice
6 heaped tbsp demerera sugar
1 slice lemon
orange or clementine, sliced
heaped tbsp garam masala
make a bag out of an old bit of cloth (clean of course), knotting the corners on the diagonal
with all the spices inside
put the bag of spices (use a sachet if you like) and the sugar into a large pan
add lemon slice, grape juice, cranberry and orange juices
heat to just under the boil and allow to brew for 15m
taste and add more sugar if needed
This delicious alcohol-free mixture was very popular, and soon sold out. In fact quite a few people had several glasses, two said it had helped their sore throat and two others asked for my recipe.