A cup of warm, spiced citrusy mulled wine is a staple at our household during this season of good tidings, especially when entertaining guests. Whip up this jubilant concoction to serve alongside appetizers before you and your guests movie-binge on Elf or A Christmas Story. Maybe you’ll make a batch of these gingerbread coconut macaroons while you’re at it.
Mulled wine is one of those adaptable recipes with the key ingredients being red wine and cozy-weathered spices like cinnamon and cloves. For this rendition, I used my vegetable peeler to zest lovely, curled strips from an orange along with additional spices and a generous splash of port for good measure. I’m not much for sugary libations, so I only added a smidge of honey, and all was well. Feel free to build upon this recipe with brown sugar, maple syrup, grated ginger or even whiskey to spice things up. Try a combination of apple cider and pomegranate juice if non-alcoholic beverages are more your thing.
Perhaps you’ve yet to put up your decorations and are looking for a festive beverage to sip while stringing those lights. Whatever the occasion, this warm sipper fits the bill!
Yield: About 8 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
2 (750-ml) bottles red wine
2 cups port
2 tsp whole allspice
10 whole cloves
6 star anise
4 cinnamon sticks
one orange, zested in large strips, then sliced
2 tbsp honey
In a cheesecloth or mesh tea strainer, add the cloves and allspice (this step makes it easier to remove them later). In a large pot, add all ingredients including the contained spices. Turn stove on low to medium heat so that the mulled wine simmers but never boils. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until heated through. Remove cheesecloth or mesh tea strainer. Serve mulled wine in mugs garnished with an orange slice and a star anise if you prefer. You may want to serve in a crockpot to keep warm or have your guests migrate to the stove!