Mulled wine: infusing sugar and spice with the SousVide Supreme Demi

Wine, sugar and spices in the SousVide Supreme Demi, the heat doing its thing.

Wine, sugar and spices in the SousVide Supreme Demi, the heat doing its magic.

Over the last four months, I’ve experimented with the SousVide Supreme Demi, a compact sous vide for home use. We’ve used it to cook fish, vegetables, and fruit, to prepare potatoes to make very tasty gnocchi, to infuse vodka and make pumpkin custards. With Christmas just around the corner, my experiments have turned to drinks again. Not only can a sous vide make my Christmas snaps in hours* instead of months, but it’s also a gentle, hands-off way for making glögg.

Glögg is Swedish mulled wine, typically sweeter and spicier than the British variety. It’s made by steeping red wine with dried orange peel, sugar and spices. An easy way to prepare it is to make a spiced sugar syrup and mix that, about 50/50 with red wine. If making the syrup in the sous vide, cut the amount of water by 10% since you won’t lose any by evaporation.

Preparing the spices for white glögg.

Preparing the spices for white glögg.

I wanted to do something a little different with our glögg this year. Instead of red wine, I used white. It needs a little bit of adjustment since white wine doesn’t have the berry flavours that I depend on from red wine. This version uses the same spices as my usual mix, but uses fresh orange peel to get a fresh citrussy flavour and adds vanilla to get a rounded character. Not only is it easy to make, but the sous vide keeps it warm while you drink it. If not consuming directly, cool in a water bath and store in a bottle. It makes a great gift as well as a perfect tipple after a cold walk, with a piece of ginger cake.

Christopher and I both like this one a lot, but to give it a proper trial, I took a bottle to the Lucia choir practice last night and tried it on a bevvy of Swedes and Norwegians. They liked it too: the balance of spice and sweetness got their approval. (If you’re curious about what Lucia choir might be, come along to one of the Boda bars in Edinburgh on Saturday and see and hear us in action.)

White glögg in the SousVide Supreme Demi
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
White mulled wine makes a nice change from red. This version is based on Swedish glögg and is sweet and spicy.
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Christmas, sous vide
Serves: 1 bottle
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 3 strips of orange peel (peel an orange top to bottom with a potato peeler, avoiding the pith, and that's one strip.)
  • ⅓ - ½ cup sugar (about 70 - 80 grams)
  • 7 green cardamon pods
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • ⅔-1 vanilla pod
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 1x2 cm slices of fresh ginger
  1. Set SousVide Supreme to 70° C.
  2. Mix wine, sugar and spices in a glass container and cover (with plastic wrap, or a lid).
  3. Leave to warm for three hours.
  4. Stir, to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved, and taste. If the wine was really dry, you might need to add more sugar. The drink should be fragrant and fruity, not sour.
  5. Run through a filter (or jelly bag) to remove the spices.
  6. It's ready to serve immediately, but you can also cool it in a water bath, store in a bottle and refrigerate. to reheat, either carefully microwave, or warm on the stove. You want it hot, but not boiling. If you want, serve it in the traditional way with raisins and chopped almonds. (I like it on its own.)
  7. To add a bit more kick, add a tablespoon of vodka or Cointreau to the cup when serving.

* 6 hours at 65° C.

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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