This mulled gin cocktail is full of warming spices, in a cold cocktail. It’s easy to make with a spice-infused simple syrup, plus I’ve made mulled wine ice cubes to give it some extra pizazz.
I love the transition of seasons. Even as the leaves fall to the ground and shatter underfoot, there’s a sense of newness. We pull our coats from the back of the wardrobe and wrap up against the season’s chill. Halcyon days of summer are forgotten as we look forward to Halloween, Christmas, New Year.
But as summer’s sun fades in memory, we aren’t always ready to thrust ourselves straight into winter woolies, roaring fires and hot chocolate. We need time to adjust. And there’s no better way to adjust with a season-straddling cocktail.
This mulled gin cocktail with mulled wine ice cubes is your gateway to winter.
Mojitos are too summery, spritzers too light. But we’re not quite ready for bubbling vats of mulled wine just yet, are we? So let’s mull us some gin. Let’s bring those warming mulled wine spices and give them a little chill. Let’s throw caution to the wind.
There are no rules, only the rules we make. And my rule is that gin goes with everything (even cake).
I made a mulled spice-infused simple syrup as the flavour base for this cocktail. Don’t be frightened, it really is simple. Clue’s in the name, people. Just heat water and sugar in a pan with spices and oranges. Your kitchen will smell enchantingly festive. You may suddenly hum a carol or two. You’ll embrace the chill in the air and start thinking about Christmas lists. Don’t fight it. As John Snow says, ‘Winter is coming’.
This syrup would make a fantastic Christmas gift, and it will keep for a few months in a cool dry place. This recipe makes around 500ml, so double the recipe for gifting.
Now, the mulled wine ice cubes aren’t essential to this cocktail. But you’ll have to admit that they make it rather special. I had some leftover mulled wine (I know!! I’m quite surprised myself), so I just froze it in an ice cube tray. Instant cocktail glamour. They’re the feather boa of the ice cube world.
Instead of regular ice melting and diluting the drink, these cubes melt into the cocktail bringing their own mulled flavour to the drink and staining it red. You start with the mulled gin cocktail and then it changes slowly to a gin/wine hybrid that works beautifully together. It’s sort of like two cocktails in one. I’m good to you like that.
Freezing leftover wine is a great way to use it up. Transfer it from the tray to a bag or jar, then use a few cubes to flavour gravies, soups and stews. Perhaps not mulled wine cubes, but actually, they could give a nice spicy flavour to savoury dishes (suddenly I’m inspired to make mulled wine gravy…..).
- For the mulled spice syrup
- 500ml (2¼ cups) water
- 415g (2¼ cups) caster sugar
- 2 washed unpeeled satsumas, quartered
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- For the cocktail (per cocktail)
- 45ml (1 ½ oz) gin (or vodka)
- 45 ml (1 ½ oz) mulled spice syrup
- Soda water (or lemonade/sprite if you like your cocktail sweeter)
- Ice, or frozen mulled wine ice cubes (see note)
- For the mulled simple syrup
- In a medium saucepan, bring all simple syrup ingredients to a boil and gently stir until the sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, then pour the simple syrup through the sieve to strain out the ingredients.
- Pour the syrup into a sterilised jar (see note) allow to cool and store in a cupboard for up to two months.
- To serve:
- In a tall glass, add ice cubes (or mulled wine ice cubes), gin, mulled spice syrup and top up with soda water.
- If you have any leftover mulled wine, freeze it in cubes for this cocktail. Alternatively, you can get the same colour-effect by freezing cranberry juice.
- sterilise the jar for the simple syrup by running it through the dishwasher and using hot, or wash well then heat in the oven for a few minutes and allow to cool before removing.
- If you prefer vodka, then use that instead of gin!
OXO Good Grips sent me a load of their new barware to use as my inspiration for a cocktail. I’ve been using many of their products for years and love how good quality they are. It’s the clever little touches that I like. My most-used item of theirs are the measuring spoons – they’re the ONLY ones I’ve ever had that are narrow enough to fit into spice jars. Genius. Now they’ve turned their innovation to barware and the gadgets work sooo well. The vertical lever corkscrew takes all the effort out of opening wine, so no more tugging and pulling, just two motions and the cork is out. It’s really easy to use. The tongs are perfect for (mulled wine) ice cubes, the cocktail shaker and measure work perfectly. There’s also a vacuum wine sealer so you can pump out the air to make leftover wine last longer. All really great products.
Disclosure: This post was commissioned by Oxo Good Grips. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to mess up my kitchen and write Veggie Desserts – Healthy Food and Lifestyle.