Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine

Fresh pressed apple cider, tart pomegranate juice, and Tempranillo pair with mulling spices and fresh fruit to create a fall-inspired cocktail, perfect for sipping during this autumn and winter season.

This recipe for Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine was created in partnership with Llano Estacado Winery.

The change of season, and accompanying cooler weather has me thinking about all the delicious and fun seasonal traditions that this time of year brings, and of course some fun, new takes on some of those old fall favorites.

Some of our family’s fall favorites include: football, entertaining friends and family, enjoying time outside (lately Kevin and I have been going on lots of bike rides!), trying new seasonal recipes, and cozying up for relaxing weekends.

One of my favorite recipes this time of year is Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider. I thought it would be super fun to create an adult beverage version of that old favorite – something perfect for all of our favorite activities and gatherings this time of year, from football game watching this fall to the upcoming holidays with Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.

This time of year we watch a lot of football in our house between Kevin and Logan. I’ll often spend my weekend watching the games, too.  Over the past few years I’ve learned that while I’m not a crazy football fan, I do enjoy hanging out and watching the game, and especially enjoy the camaraderie and fun times that occur when we have a few people over to hang out with during the game.

Good food and drinks are always a must for us, whether we’re watching the game just as our family or having friends over. The guys are always good with a beer and some munchies to enjoy during the game, but often the women in the group will want something different to sip on.

Inspired by my Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider and the notes on the bottle stating that the 2015 Cellar Reserve Tempranillo exhibits the spice aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, I decided to make this Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine recipe.

The Winemaker Notes describe this wine as possessing a rich bouquet of red berries, plums…full and rich, with dark fruit flavors, and has a lengthy finish.  If you’re serving it with a meal, they recommend pairing it with your favorite cut of meat, wild game, or Spanish tapas.

I don’t think you can go wrong serving some fun, Spanish inspired tapas along side this Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine during your next football game!

The 2015 Cellar Reserve Tempranillo was definitely the perfect start to a fall-inspired cocktail that would be perfect for sipping while watching football this season.

I also think that this fall-inspired cocktail would be the perfect thing to serve for a large group on Thanksgiving. In our house, tradition says that Thanksgiving also means football will be playing in the background throughout the day as meal preparations are made, and after the meal is eaten as everyone winds down.

Kevin and I will actually be without kids this year for Thanksgiving, so we’ll be heading up to Alaska (a first for me!) , but if I were hosting Thanksgiving again, I would most definitely be serving this Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine for guests to sip on while Thanksgiving Day Football plays in the background.

It is the perfect drink to warm up with on a cold day. Plus, Mulled Wine is the perfect, easy to make, big batch cocktail for a football party at home on a fall day. It is incredibly easy to double or triple, depending on your number of guests, and it can easily keep warm in a slow cooker throughout the day.

I love the depth of flavor that Llano Estacado’s 2015 Cellar Reserve Tempranillo adds to this Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine. It has such a more developed flavor profile thanks to the addition of the wine.

Wineries aren’t something that I know a ton about, so I was so interested and surprised to learn that Llano Estacado Winery is located in Texas. I lived most of my younger years (kindergarten through high school) growing up in Texas and not being clued into the wine world for a large part of that time, I had no idea that Texas was known for wine.

The winery, located in Lubbock, produces about 50 different varietals of wine and is the largest and best-selling Premium Winery in Texas. Pretty cool if you ask me. If you aren’t located near Lubbock, you can purchase Llano Estacado’s wines at select retailers nationwide, or simply purchase online directly from Llano Estacado Winery.

A couple years ago, I made a Red Wine Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce that everyone agreed was amazing. I think red wines pair really well with so many different flavors of the fall and winter season, which is why I chose a red wine to create a fall inspired cocktail.

I have used wine off and on in the kitchen for a variety of recipes for years, but I’ve only recently really become more comfortable with really experimenting with the impact that different wines can have. For example, this is the first time that I’ve experimented with creating a wine-based cocktail (usually I will use wine to cook with, or I’ll just drink it as-is).

As I learn more about the different varietals of wine, and about vineyards, I definitely look forward to more experimenting in the kitchen with wine, and many more hit recipes that have that extra special added touch that the flavors of wine can add to a dish, or how the perfectly paired glass of wine can really make the whole meal.

Win a Llano Estacado Winery Gift Card!

Want to make this Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine or experiment with your own wine-based cocktails and wine-infused recipes using wines from Llano Estacado? Just follow the instructions below to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $25 gift card to the winery!

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What are your favorite fall-inspired recipes?

Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine

Yield: serves 8 - 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Fresh pressed apple cider, tart pomegranate juice, and Tempranillo pair with mulling spices and fresh fruit to create a fall-inspired cocktail, perfect for sipping during this autumn and winter season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 1/2 cup Fresh Pressed Apple Cider*
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 8 Whole Cloves
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 3 Allspice Berries
  • Pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 - 750 ml bottle Llano Estacado Cellar Reserve Tempranillo
  • 1 large sliced Honeycrisp Apple, plus extra for garnishing glasses
  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate Arils, plus extra for garnishing glasses
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cranberries, plus extra for garnishing glasses

Directions:

In an 8 quart saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice, fresh pressed apple cider, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, allspice berries, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

Bring the juice mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then, add the  Llano Estacado Cellar Reserve Tempranillo to the juice mixture along with the apples, pomegranate, and cranberries and heat through just until the mixture is hot through, then reduce heat to keep warm over low heat.

In each glass, add a few fresh cranberries, pomegranate arils, and apple slices. Then, ladle the Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine over top and serve.

Notes:

Using fresh pressed apple cider that has brown sugar and spices pre-added to it would cause this recipe to be too sweet, so I recommend a simple fresh pressed apple cider.

I am privileged to have working relationship Llano Estacado Winery on Good Life Eats. I’ve been compensated for my time in creating this recipe for Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider Mulled Wine, but as always – my opinions are my own!