Review: Joy’s Teaspoon Mulled Wine

Apple Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Clove Tea, Elderberry Tea, Fruit Flavored Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Joys Teaspoon, Orange Tea, Rose Hip Tea Add comments
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Mulled wine is an interesting European concoction that consists of red wine (obviously)…and a bunch of other stuff, typically served hot. The type of “stuff” included varies from country to country. For instance, in Germany, “Glühwein” is served with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, citrus and sugar for something that I can assume tastes like an alcoholic masala chai. In Nordic countries, glögg (as they call it) has some of the same ingredients as the German variety, but with even more spices – cardamom and ginger among ‘em.

Glögg was the first mulled wine that caught my attention, mainly for its verbal similarity to “grog”. Yes, the pirate drink. My brother and I found a couple of bottles of the pre-made, nonalcoholic mixture at our local IKEA. We weren’t aware that we had to buy our own pods, spices and nuts for the mixture, though. Those very bottles are now gathering dust behind the microwave…because we’re lazy like that.

Joy’s Teaspoon’s tea mimicry of the booze/spice marriage includes a couple of the same ingredients – cinnamon and cloves – but goes off the deep end into “WFT!”-ery with the rest. Rounding out the herbal mélange are apple pieces, hibiscus blossoms, elderberries, rosehip peel, mistletoe, flavoring (celeryseed oil), and orange slices.

Mistletoe?! Celeryseed oil?! What was I supposed to do, kiss the cup? Whatever…I figured I was in for an ounce and pint at this point. It didn’t smell like alcohol, but it oozed fruity burliness – contradiction, though that may be. And the brewing instructions seemed to indicate that I was supposed to burn the ever-living-heck out of it. They called for 2 tsp. of herb per 6oz.of boiled water, steeped for six-to-ten minutes. I went a shade lighter on my measurements with 1 tbsn and an 8oz. cup; middle-of-the-road eight-minute steep.

I’ve gotta give ol’ Joy credit, this looked and smelled like spiced red wine. I couldn’t even see through the transparent glass that housed the frighteningly-deep concoction. Apple, elderberries and rosehips dominated the scent; cinnamon came in close second. I thought I detected licorice as well, but that may have been my nostrils playing tricks on me. On the tongue, tart hibiscus rushed in first, followed closely by a dual citrus-berry pirouette. Cinnamon took up the aftertaste slack.

This – like a lot of Joy’s other eccentric blends – overcompensated with what it set out to do. If you want a tea that tastes like booze, hey, have at it. It’s right here. My only nitpick was the intensity of the hibiscus. That probably could’ve been dialed down a bit. All said, though, a clobberhouse of a liquid fruit basket. If that makes any sense. (I think I’m cut off.)

— To purchase Joy’s Teaspoon Mulled Wine, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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