Mulled Wine

Ingredients:
1. 1 bottle of inexpensive red wine (I usually use Merlot or Cabarnet Sauvignon)
2. 2 sticks cinnamon
3. 5–6 whole cloves
4. 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, coarsely grated
5. 5 pods cardamom, cracked
6. 1 star anise
7. 1/2 tsp. ginger root, coarsely grated
8. 1/2 cup honey
9. Zest of half an orange
10. Juice of half an orange

Method:
1. In a little saucepan, put about a half cup of water and all the ingredients (except the wine, of course). Bring to a simmer. You should get a nice aroma by now. Make sure you stir the spices every few seconds and that they don’t begin to burn. The entire process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, two to three, if youu ask me.
2. In a large saucepot, heat the wine, making sure that it doesnt boil. Add the concoction of spices in, at this point and allow it to heat some more.
3. Take the wine off the heat in a minute or so and serve in a mug/glass.
4. Garnish with a wedge of orange or a curl of orange peel and a stick of cinnamon.

Notes:
1. Shazmeister mentioned Gluhwein to me on chat one evening. Pre-Christmas. My sister had mentioned mulled wine to me once before. And all it took was the effort to look up a recipe. And then I looked up a dozen more. And New Year’s eve, I was mulling some wine, mulling over it (at some point) even.
2. Call me a bore. But midnight December 31st, 2010, I was down a bottle of wine. The mulled kind. I skyped with my parents. Logged in to work. Pressed a couple of buttons here and there to ring in the new year with work. Fought with G. And went to bed. A month in, oh, the year is going great. Fabulous! Lots of living with G. A decent job. Insane amounts of good cooking and good reading and good wine. 🙂
3. I tried the recipe again the weekend after New Years, a few ingredients less. Tasted better. Not that it wasn’t good the first time around. So, if you’re a wine person, just experiment a little before the winter is over. Warm wine in Spring? Sheeeesh… Who ever heard of that!
4. A few other recipes call for about a fourth of a cup of brandy or triple sec, as an extra ingredient. I bought a couple of truck loadsa alcohol of different kinds for the birthday. Party and all that. So I guess I’m going to mull wine this weekend, yet again. But this tiime, with that dash of cointreau. Mwahahahahaha!
5. Festive. Warm. Aromatic. A sip sends spice and alcohol and warmth and goodness down your throat.
6. On my to-buy list: A nice mug for mulled wine. Like this one:

Anyone know what they’re called? :S

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