A Touch Of Bourbon Will Take Your Mulled Wine To The Next Level

Mulled wine is a timeless, crowd pleasing beverage that finds itself at home as easily at intimate gatherings as it does at large celebrations. With a sweet, fruity flavor and a warming, spice-filled aroma, it's hard to think of a time when anyone could be tired of the drink. That said, it's always fun to mix things up and we have a suggestion to do just that. For an extra special kick that will make your mulled wine taste brand new, all you need to do is add a splash of bourbon.

Adding a hard liquor to your mulled wine is nothing revolutionary; in fact, we recommend doing so with rum in our classic cozy mulled wine recipe. The difference here is that bourbon is uniquely suited to make the flavors already found in mulled wine shine even brighter. Tasting notes in bourbon include the likes of citrus, baking spices, and confectionery flavors like vanilla or even chocolate. When added to mulled wine, these notes enhance the existing presence of ingredients like orange, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar — not to mention any deeper flavors found in the wine itself. Essentially, bourbon can act like an amplifier for your wine, all while infusing it with a characteristic boozy bite.

Pick the right ingredients for the best results

Incorporating bourbon into your mulled wine is easy; use it as a one-to-one substitute for the amount of rum featured in any classic mulled wine recipe, such as ours mentioned above or this boozy spiced German glühwein recipe. You need not invest in an overly expensive, rare, or unusual bottle of bourbon for this purpose, as any subtle complexities will likely be overwhelmed by the other flavors in the recipe. For help picking out a solid everyday bourbon, check out our guide ranking the 27 best bourbon brands.

The positively delicious impact bourbon will have on your mulled wine will grow even more if you pair it with some choice extra additions. For example, swapping out traditional white sugar in favor of dark brown sugar will add more caramel and molasses notes to the wine, echoing some of the sweeter flavors often found in bourbon. Ingredients like fresh apple slices will be a welcome twist, too, especially if the use of bourbon makes you crave a more autumnal outcome. If you are feeling particularly experimental, you can even toss in a few sprigs of rosemary to bring out the spicier, more herbaceous notes hiding in some bourbon varieties.