Cranberry Ginger Mulled Wine (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


I try to treat this blog like a real job. It started as a hobby, most certainly, but it has grown far beyond what I thought it would be. To get the most out of it, I find I have to approach it as I would a regular job, one that has a schedule and a routine. To that end, I try to post recipes three times a week, usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the occasional extra post in between these times. But like any job and any routine, it can get thrown off by other areas of life. This week was definitely one of those times for me. Between some family issues (minor, but time-consuming), errands, and the approaching holidays, I have been feeling very overwhelmed. Knowing that something had to give, I decided to take a pass on my Friday post. I had a couple of recipes in mind, but no time to execute them, and it just didn’t seem right to rush it. When I finally found a few quiet moments to myself, I took the easiest of these recipe ideas and put it to the test. Fortunately, it passed with flying colours and I felt I could post about it. So, a rare Saturday post instead of a scheduled Friday one. Just a little extra time to help me keep my sanity!

I love mulled wine, but I haven’t made much of it at home. I think the first time I had it was as a teenager at home, when my mother made a batch at Christmastime. And just to be clear, I was in my late teens and the drinking age in Canada is lower, so she wasn’t doing anything illegal! But it was such a lovely drink, warm and comforting with the spices and sugar, and so perfect for the holiday season. Later on, in grad school, I decided to make some for a Christmas party I was hosting. And it was…awful. I used cheap wine, and I forgot to add the sugar, and no one really wanted to drink it. That was probably my last experience with mulled wine, but the memory of the lovely warm drink my mother made stayed with me.

I’ve been hoarding cranberries like nobody’s business this fall. It irks me that this versatile berry is really only readily available in it’s fresh form at this time of year. Fortunately, they freeze well and I’ve got a number of bags in the freezer for the spring and summer. But whenever I see them in the freezer, my mind begins to whirl and recipes spring to mind. The idea of wine mulled with some fresh cranberries and fresh ginger was one of those recipes and I knew it was a good one. It was just one of those ones that had to be made. Of course, conventional mulled wine takes sugar and that just wasn’t an option for me. But there are so many sweetener options out there, it was simple to make up the difference.

For any one who’s interested in trying Swerve, the new erythritol sweetener I’ve mentioned a few times, they are having a fun contest on their Facebook page. Just post your New Year’s Resolution to win a pound bag of the granular or powdered Swerve sweetener. So far, I’ve only had great results with it, so I think it’s a contest worth entering. Check it out HERE.

The Results: I already said that this recipe passed with flying colours. It certainly did. Unlike many mulled wine recipes, this has a tanginess to it from the cranberries and the lemon that offset the sweetness and the spices. Now, keep in mind that I like tart things, and so I kept the sweetener at a minimum compared to most mulled wines. But I truly enjoyed this, and it helped erase the memory of that awful grad school version. This is everything mulled wine should be…sweet, comforting, spicy, but with it’s own tangy, cranberry taste.

Cranberry Ginger Mulled Wine

1 bottle full-bodied red wine (I prefer a Cabernet or Merlot)
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup granulated erythritol (I used Swerve)
juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, thinly sliced

fresh cranberries
Sliced lemon

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently over low heat for 30 minutes.

Pour into mugs and garnish with cranberries and lemon.

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  1. says

    I read the other day on twitter you're feeling overwhelmed. I hate to say it, but I'm afraid that's what it going to happen to me too next week. I took a couple of baking projects for our church and feel bad to give up now that the time is approaching.
    You wine looks great! I used to make mullet wine, haven't made any in ages, but with the weather getting colder and colder a glass is very much welcomed.

  2. food_dreamer says

    Thanks, Roxana! Yeah, definitely overwhelmed. Just bowed out of a boston food blogger cookie swap because of sick kids and other obligations. It's just that time of year, isn't it? Hope you don't get feeling too overwhelmed.

  3. says

    This sounds great! The ginger and cranberries are a unique touch and I'm sure boost your immune system or something?! Wondered how you'd address the sugar part as most recipes require that. I'm so intrigued about all the new sweeteners you've tried; thanks for 'reporting in' on it.

    I completely understand feeling overwhelmed. I'm just plain in denial about where we are in this time of the year (as are my kids so I know it's not just me). At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie, take each day at a time and revel in the beauty they do bring. You'll only live that day once.

  4. says

    Outstanding! I'd never had mulled wine before moving to Germany when I was in High School. It was amazing and I made it all through college. Unfortunately, it just doesn't go over well in 80 degree weather so I've shelved my recipe…this one, with the ginger tho…I think it needs to be tested! BUZZED :)

  5. bakedbyrachel says

    Don't push yourself too hard or this won't be fun anymore. Take time for yourself and your family. This should always come 2nd to that :) When you're feeling a bit overwhelmed – this seems like the perfect way to relax!! Love it :) Thanks for sharing the recipe and memories.

  6. says

    Oh, this looks like the perfect holiday drink, Carolyn!! And the perfect way to overcome the overwhelmed feeling (I can SO relate…I need to start my holiday baking pronto!…and here I am on the computer :)). Have a great weekend, my friend~

  7. gerryspeirs says

    This sounds like the perfect accompaniment to my Xmas parade tonight!! For what it's worth I think you handle your blog very well and as always it's awesome :)
    Take care…

  8. Kiri W. says

    In Germany, mulled wine is such an elementary detail of Christmas, but I've never had a cranberry option. Sounds very interesting and great! :)

  9. says

    Yes, I find it best to walk away sometimes, take care of other business and come back refreshed. I have to try mulled wine this year, can you believe I've never had it. Hope you enjoy the weekend. Things are only gonna get crazier as the holidays get here in the blink of an eye.

  10. says

    What a treat this mulled wine would be!! I was introduced to mulled wine in college when a date took me to an English Pub and ordered the wine for me. I was not looking forward to "hot" wine, but OMG, I loved it. Haven't had it in years… maybe I need to change that!!

  11. says

    This is so pretty and festive, Carolyn. I bet it is delicious and I would love a glass right now. It's been overwhelming here as well. We've all been sick until a few days ago and other things going. I can't look at what date it is or I'll get stressed;)xo

  12. says

    This looks so tasty and pretty. I love how your recipes are always a feast for the eyes and the tummy. Sorry life is a bit rough right now. I always say life first, blog second. Sometimes other things just need our time. Hope everything is okay. Sending good vibes and love your way.xx

  13. says

    Carolyn, This is a beautiful festive drink for the season, with the cranberries and spices. I usually make mulled cider, but I'll have to try the wine. I'm feeling stress because my husband just had arthroscopic surgery, and I'm way behind!

  14. food_dreamer says

    Your advice is very true, Rachel. Usually I work so hard at this blog, but I've decided to go easy on myself for the month of December so I don't feel so overwhelmed during the holidays.

    How are you doing?


    Blog: All Day I Dream About Food

  15. food_dreamer says

    Thanks, Gerry! Love your blog too, and my lack of commenting is just a sign of my being overwhelmed.

    Hey, I think you asked about the Pomona pectin in my other post. Whole Foods carries it, if you have one near you.


    Blog: All Day I Dream About Food

  16. dtrumpet says

    came to your blog by way of foodbuzz this morning, and I'm glad I did! I have not seen Swerve yet, but as a diabetic I'm interested in your recipe. If I substitute splenda or truvia would it measure out the same?

  17. food_dreamer says

    I think Splenda would be about the same. The only Truvia I have is the little packets and I use one to sweeten my hot chocolate on occasion. It always seems pretty sweet to me. So if using Truvia, I'd aim for 1 packet or less per serving (about 4). Less perhaps, and then add extra if you don't find it sweet enough. You definitely don't want to oversweeten!

    Glad you like my blog!


    Blog: All Day I Dream About Food

  18. says

    I've always loved mulled wine, but I've never tried it with ginger and cranberries. We make it with orange and lemon slices, cinnamon and cloves. The cloves give it a bit of a sting and you know you've put too many of them in the wine if your mouth and tongue grow numb when you drink it. :) If I didn't know better I'd think cranberries grew only around winter only to be in mulled wine, because this drink doesn't taste as good in warm months as it does around the winter holidays. It's just magical.
    Thanks for this new spin on my favorite drink, I'll make sure I try it soon! Hugs, Flora

  19. Dawn says

    I just made this recipe this weekend and highly approve — very nice combo of seasonings and the cranberries look and taste great. Only one caveat — if you want to get even slightly "toasty" with the wine you can't simmer it for an hour and hope to have any alcohol left when you're done (unless your stove is more adjustable than mine). I suggest simmering half the wine with the spices and adding the other half just long enough to heat it before serving (assuming you want the impact of wine, of course). You could also add a tablespoon or two of brandy for added "kick."


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