Sure, we could all have plain old wine this holiday season. But aren’t the holidays all about doing things a little differently? Well, that is, unless you go caroling, sit on old mens’ laps and dress your dog in rain deer ears all the live long year. Adding this spiced-up mulled wine to the menu is a way to say, yes, this is a special time of year indeed! It’s warm, aromatic, and the ideal beverage to warm up to all that holiday spirit. Plus, it’s a healthier alternative to eggnog.
If you’re going to a party – and I’m sure you’ve got a few lined up – mulled wine is a great twist on an already great host/hostess gift. Just bundle the spices and orange zest in a muslin or cheese cloth and tie it to the neck of a bottle of wine with a decorative ribbon. Your host can toss the bottle of wine and the whole pouch into a pot, simmer for 20 minutes, and serve.
If you’re the one throwing the party, whip this up in larger batches. It’ll make your home smell amazing for party goers and might also help stretch out the drinks since people will be sipping (not drinking or chugging) this warm wine.
DIY Mulled Wine
Makes 4-6 servings
- One bottle of organic red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Merlot all work well)
- One peeled and sliced orange (keep peel to add into the pot)
- 1/4 cup of brandy
- 8-10 cloves (use the leftovers from your holidays crafts)
- 2/3 cup honey or sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp fresh or 2 tsp ground ginger (you can also use allspice)
Combine all ingredients in either a large pot or a slow cooker. Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar is completely dissolving. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been well blended it is ready to serve. Ladle the mulled wine into mugs leaving the cloves, cinnamon, and peels behind.
Recipe courtesy of About.com