Witches Brew is perfect for Halloween or as some refer to it as Samhain (Sow-in’ in Ireland, Sow-een’ in Wales, Sav-en’ in Scotland) which means summer’s end.
Witches Brew is essentially hot mulled wine (spiced wine) made with red wine, spices and fruit. To make it a “Witches” Brew, I’ve add in some apple cider and apple slices sliced so the star (pentagram) shows. It is a perfect libation for any fall party.
Mulled wine originated in the second century. The Romans would heat wine to keep their bodies warm during the cold winter. As they conquered various parts of Europe, mulled wine spread across their vast empire and to the different regions they traded with.
Now you can find a version of mulled wine in many countries, Glühwein in Germany, Gløgg in Norwegian countries, etc. Each country adds different flavors.
Glühwein, Germany/Austria: brandy or rum
Vin Chaud, France: Cognac
Vinho Quente, Portugal/Brazil: Port and Madeira
Vino Caliente, Spain: Vanilla bean and Brandy de Jerez
Gløgg, Norway: Aquavit, raisins and sliced almonds
Greyano Vino, Bulgaria: Honey and peppercorn
Caribou, Quebec: Whiskey and maple syrup
This recipe for Witches Brew can easily be made on the stove in 30 minutes. However, if you need to make a large batch and have some time, you can also make it in a slow cooker. You would just need to make sure it doesn’t boil and adjust the cooking time.
Additionally, it is hard to give exact measurements for the sweetener in this recipe. It really is a matter of preference. Start with the amounts in the recipe and add as needed.
When making this recipe, be sure to allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight to allow all of the flavors to blend.
Witches Brew has a delightful blend of spices, fruit and will warm your insides in no time. I can’t wait for you to try this Witches Brew recipe! It is sure to become a favorite at parties. Please comment below and let me know what you think. Remember to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
NOTE: After I made this, I was making some Spaghetti Sauce with meatballs for dinner. I always put some wine in my sauce. I added 1/2 cup of Witches Brew strained instead. It’s so good! The spices and fruit add another level of flavor to my sauce!
- 1 bottle dry red wine, 750 ml (Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 ounce pomegranate juice
- 1 orange, 1/2 peel (no pith), 1/2 zest and juice
- 1 ounce Cointreau or Brandy
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice
- 4 star anise
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 pinches of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 orange, sliced with the peel still on
- 1 apple, sliced to see the star inside
- ½ pint fresh blackberries
- Step 1 Simmer ingredients on low heat until the liquor is warmed and the spices and fruit are blended in nicely. About 15-20 minutes. Do not let it boil.
- Step 2 Adjust sweetener to taste and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Step 3 Remove from the heat. Strain out the spices.
- Step 4 Serve hot with a cinnamon stick and an orange peel (no pith).