An MD's Absolute Favorite Festive (& Healthyish) Mulled Wine Recipe
The holidays are a time to enjoy family traditions and make new memories with your loved ones. And what better way to make a memory stick than by adding a sensorial experience (or two)? Every time I smell, much less taste, the festive blend of anise, cloves, and cinnamon, I'm transported to the holiday season, sipping my favorite mulled wine.
I look forward to making this antioxidant-rich mulled wine recipe with my family every holiday season—and now you can, too!
Benefits of this mulled wine.
Along with the sentimental value of my family's mulled wine, I also love it for the health properties.
Red wine is rich in polyphenols, namely resveratrol, which has been shown to promote healthy aging by combating oxidative stress1. In other words, the antioxidants in red wine have anti-inflammatory properties that may support longevity—when enjoyed in moderation, of course.*
With this recipe, it's also easy to swap in a nonalcoholic wine, if you prefer.
As for the add-ins, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar both have properties that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, as do the grapefruit wedges, with their low-glycemic impact. And since most of us are looking to enhance our immune systems this winter, the citrus fruit contains immune-supporting vitamin C, and the manuka honey has antibacterial properties. (Find more tips on supporting your immune strength in the winter, here.)*
This warming cocktail serves as an Ayurvedic winter drink, especially for vata when the air is cooler, dryer, and more arid. Plus, your whole house will smell like a dream when making it!
This is my take on my family's tradition, and I hope you enjoy it, too!
- 1 bottle of low-sugar, low-carb red wine (I personally prefer Dry Farm merlot); or a nonalcoholic red wine
- 2 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Grapefruit wedges
- 1 to 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with manuka honey
- 1 teaspoon manuka honey, for added sweetness
- Handful of raisins for added sweetness
- Slowly heat all ingredients together for about 30 minutes or more.
- Let it cool, and garnish with a grapefruit wedge and a cinnamon stick.
Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an American Board Family Medicine–certified physician who studied family medicine at Georgia Regents University/Medical College of Georgia. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Georgia with a bachelor's of science in biology and psychology in 2004 and her doctor of medicine at American University of Antigua College of Medicine in 2010. She completed an integrative medicine fellowship at the University of Arizona with Dr. Andrew Weil. She is also currently working on her functional medicine training with the Institute of Functional Medicine. Her interests include integrative, holistic, and functional medicine; women's health; preventive medicine; international medicine; and health care reform. She's also a certified yoga instructor and Reiki master. She enjoys writing and educating everyone on important health matters.