This post has been sponsored by Layer Cake wines. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The holidays are a time for togetherness. Welcoming family and friends into your home is a beautiful way to love and serve the people you care about. Sharing conversation together over delicious food and great wine (especially Layer Cake!) is a sure way to add meaning and intentionality to a season that can be so full of chaos. By hosting an intimate gathering, you’ll be able to slow down for a few hours and disconnect from the holiday hustle.
Believe it or not, hosting a holiday party does not have to be a stressful task! Here is a mulled wine recipe and a few tips to make your gathering memorable and relaxed.
1. Choose Good Wine
Wine is a hosting essential any time of year but especially during the holidays! When selecting wine to serve at your holiday party, keep quality in mind. Choose several varietals so you’ll have something on hand to please every palate!
Layer Cake wine offers full-bodied, complex flavors in several varieties. For this holiday shindig, I served Layer Cake’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Bourbon Barrel Cabernet, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Primitivo and Chardonnay.
These wines are completely handcrafted, and it is so evident in the taste! Their expert team works directly with farmers in the world’s most iconic wine regions to make each wine with care. The result is a richly layered and delicious wine that complements your meal well.
2. Snack It Up
One of the easiest ways to give yourself a break is to remember you don’t have to do it all. While handmade foods are important, not every element of your meal needs to be handmade.
Instead of worrying about what to make, eliminate stress by purchasing a variety of easy and flavorful snacks for your guests.
Grab a few different cheeses, meats, fruits, and nuts to create a snack board in less than five minutes. This will free up your time to make an excellent main dish or focus on other party details!
3. Add Ambiance
Ambiance is so important to create a festive atmosphere – but it doesn’t have to be complicated!
The two secrets to create a warm, inviting scene are candles and greenery. I simply placed some full greenery down the center of the table and added a few blooms for a pop of color.
To add a lighting element, I brought out my collection of vintage candlesticks. These beauties are timeless and add a touch of charm.
4. Create a Playlist
A good playlist is what separates a good party from a great party. Music sets the tone for the evening (literally), and it can be a special way to bring people together.
Online streaming services allow you to select a song or artist and create a playlist in one click. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
5. Serve Mulled Wine
If you’d like to make a simple yet flavorful drink for a group, Mulled Wine is the way to go! This delicious cocktail was an instant hit at our party. There’s nothing quite like a warm drink on a cold winter evening. Serving some delicious Mulled Wine is a sure way to add a cozy element into the mix.
The rich layers of Layer Cake wine gives you the perfect base for this festive holiday cocktail. Since this recipe doesn’t have many ingredients, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients you use are great quality.
There are a few different ways to make Mulled Wine; I prefer the slow-cooker method. This will keep the drink warm, stovetop free, and allow guests to grab refills with ease.
In the spirit of keeping things easy, this drink only takes five minutes to prepare—giving you more time to relax with your guests!
- 750 ml (1 bottle) Layer Cake red wine (a sweet varietal works best - Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot are great choices)
- 2 cups fresh apple cider
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 orange zested and juiced
- 5 whole cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole star anise
- Orange slices for garnish
- Cinnamon sticks for garnish
- Pour Layer Cake red wine, apple cider, honey, orange zest, and orange juice into slow cooker and stir.
- Add whole cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
- Cook on low, approximately 30 minutes.
- Once warm, ladle into mugs. Serve with an orange slice and cinnamon stick for garnish.