I can’t stop digging up treasures on Tasty Kitchen, and when I saw this recipe for Mulled Wine, it was all I could do to stop myself from running at a sprint to the nearest liquor store to make it all happen asap. This little brew tastes like the holidays to me. It warms me to my toes, and I’m so excited to share it with you.
Disclaimer: it’s spicy. Not fire-in-your-mouth spicy, but spicy enough that my friend Carrie wasn’t a huge fan. Sorry, Carrie. Our souls may be knit together, but our taste buds are definitely on different tracks at times. If this is too spicy for you, I recommend adding some orange juice to the brew to sweeten the flavors.
Second disclaimer: you will only be bringing the wine to a simmer, and then serving it directly. So don’t operate under the illusion that any alcohol content evaporates! That illusion could quickly lead down a path to accidental drunkenness. And no one wants that! Take it from someone who’s been there. And it was totally accidental. I’ll tell you the story sometime. Or maybe I won’t.
Hey! Don’t be judgin’–it happened to Anne of Green Gables too! Or rather, she accidentally inebriated her friend Diana thinking a bottle of wine was a bottle of Marilla’s famous raspberry cordial, but don’t worry, because she gained back the approval of Diana’s mother months later when she saved Diana’s youngest sister’s life from a bout of croup using something called ipicac. Or something. Really! It all happened!
What? You have no idea what I’m blabbing on about? You mean you haven’t read the Anne of Green Gables books? Or seen the movie? My gosh. You need to get your priorities straight.
Anyway, I need to get my priorities straight and get this mulled wine made, eh? So here we go.
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole peppercorns
peel from 1 orange, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 c water
1/2 c sugar
2 bottles (750 ml) red wine such as cabernet or merlot
1/2 c port
First, let’s peel the orange. Grab a vegetable peeler and do your best to get all the orange part of the peel with as little white as possible.
The white suff if Bitter Central.
Now look at the stripped-down orange and contemplate its nudity for a few minutes.
Preferrably in silence.
Okay! Now grab those spices:
It helps if you have an adorable white ramekin to put them in. Really!
Let’s pour that cup of water into a large pot. I used my pressure cooker.
Now put the orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and peppercorns into the pot, and bring it to a boil.
As soon as it boils, lower the heat and simmer it for about 15 minutes. The spices will start releasing their aromas and flavors, and the cinnamon sticks should start to unfurl.
Round up the rest of the ingredients:
Something that I love about this recipe is that you can use some dang cheap wine, which may not taste great alone, but via this process is transformed into a lovely subtance.
These bottles were about $5 apiece, and distinctly . . . not delicious. According to my palate. They needed sugar and spices to make them nices.
Oh, and make sure you have some chapstick on hand at all times.
I always do.
Now add the two bottles of wine . . .
Add the sugar . . .
Add the port with its lovely raisiny flavor . . .
. . . and bring it back to a simmer.
Okay, that was closer to a boil than a simmer. But if you don’t tell, I won’t either! Deal? Deal.
Let’s serve it up!
Note: I had much better luck serving this with a large measuring cup instead of a ladle. With the ladle, I got wine drips and splatters pretty much everywhere.
We stored the leftovers in an empty bottle we had saved for just such an occasion, pouring it into a funnel through a strainer to get out the spices.
Once the bottle was full, we strained the rest directly into my mug.
It’s delicious chilled, or room temperature, or hot. But I love it hot. Maybe because there are so few degrees outside these days.
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