It might be mid-year for Australia, but we're lapping up the Christmas vibes with all the mulled wine aromas filling the air. With winter having rolled around quicker than ever, bars and pubs across the city have taken the traditional glüwein recipe and added their own — shall we say — spice to the steamy drink. And we are seriously grateful. Is there anything better than warming yourself up from the inside out with a nice glass of steaming hot mulled wine?
We don't want you to miss out on the best of the bunch, so we've put together a list of our favourite places to enjoy a glass of mulled wine or cider. It may be cold out there, but it's nice and warm in these joints.
If one or two glasses on mulled wine is never enough, you might consider making your way to Carlton's Prince Alfred Hotel from 4pm Monday to Thursday. That's when the recently refurbed pub does bottomless mulled wine and cider — all for just $25. Just pay at the bar and you can keep on filling up your glass from the heated crockpot until 6pm. After that, the hot stuff can be purchased by the glass.
Located in the heart of the city, Madame Brussels knows how to make a drink, and its mulled wine is no exception. Designed to share between two, the rooftop bar's mulled wine comes piping hot in an adorable teapot and tea cosy, laced with winter spices and finished with strong flavours of strawberries and peaches.
You can sip on this one at your leisure, as the teapot keeps it nice and warm, and enjoy the heated rooftop and blankets on offer. This over-the-top bar will have you feeling fancy as pie as you get spicy in the sea of pink. If you're heading in on a Friday night, you can also grab a glass of mulled wine at the weekly winter European night market in the CBD laneway of the same name.
If you're feeling like taking your mulled wine up a notch, head into The Rooks Return on Brunswick Street. Here, the bar staff will offer up your glass with your choice of an added shot of either cognac, cherry liqueur or fireball. It's just as boozy as it is delicious.
This small bar will have you feeling right at home in no time. On your way to a table or large booth, grab one of their board games, burrowed in among its assortment of knick-knacks, and play Uno or Connect Four as you sip away. At any moment somebody might start to play to the piano in the front or jump on the vinyl decks in the back. Be warned, though: once you nestle in here, it's hard to leave.
When the only thing better than a glass of mulled wine is a selection of them. Here at Welcome to Thornbury, in — yep, you guessed it — Thornbury, you can take your pick between a cup of traditional, chilli choc, sticky date or cherry mulled wine.
The choices don't stop there, either, with the spacious venue being host to a range of food trucks, serving dishes to accommodate every food preference. There truly is something for everyone here, paired perfectly with a cup of your chosen mulled wine.
Move over regular wine — your hotter, European cousin is coming through: glühwein. Milk the Cow, the masters of cheese and wine pairings, located in both Carlton and St Kilda, have taken its wine expertise and spiced things up for winter, offering a traditional blend.
These licensed fromageries have over 180 different types of cheese and are open late, offering blankets to keep you warm while you feast. Sit back, breath in the aromas and indulge. It may sound cheesy, but we promise — with cheese and hot wine — you'll have a grate time here.
CHERRY TREE HOTEL, CREMORNE
The Cherry Tree Hotel, located in the backstreets of Cremorne just near Richmond station, is the ultimate local friendly pub. The mulled wine and cider are just the cherries on top of this boozy cake.
This homey pub has dived right into a winter favourite, with its spiced mulled wine and cider both delivering a delightful gingerbread finish. Take your pick between the two and start sipping away. You're bound to cherish this one.