It snowed here last week. Can you believe it!?! Nothing stuck around for long, but in my book, mid-October is too early for the white stuff. Not being a huge fan of winter, I was not happy to see those fluffy flakes.
Our snow event, however, has a silver lining (actually two). It’s said that if snow falls before the first frost, we will have an “easy winter. “*crosses fingers* Secondly, snow gives me an excuse to stay inside, watch SVU marathons, and whip up something delicious in the kitchen. That might be the only way I can tolerate winter – Olivia Benson and something yummy on the stove or in the oven.
So to kick off this cozy season, today I’m sharing a recipe for Mulled Wine. I can’t believe that in seven years of blogging, this is my first post about how to make Mulled Wine. What’s wrong with me!?!
Earlier this week I was watching Matt Bellassai’s Whine About It. (Side note: If you haven’t watched this web series, do yourself a favor and go back and check out the first season. I should mention that there is some foul language and off color humor in case that might offend you.) In this episode I watched, Matt was sipping on mulled wine, and immediately I knew I had to whip up a batch.
There’s something wonderful about warm spiced wine. The combination of the smell, warmth, and flavor is magical and a must-have for cool fall or winter evenings. It’s also the perfect beverage for entertaining. Throw everything in a crock pot, set it on low, and you’re done. Plus, it makes your home smell fabulous. Love that!
The recipe below makes a double batch, which is perfect for a crockpot or larger pot. However, feel free to cut this recipe in half. I just heated up mine on the stove in my Straub Cocotte which makes a beautiful presentation. Keep in mind that you want the mixture to warm up and only simmer. Try not to boil it as you’ll end up cooking off some of the alcohol. What’s the fun in the that?
For the wine, I combined one sweeter red (a locally made wine) and a dry wine (I like Pinot Noir or Shiraz.). Use wine you like to drink and pick a sweetness level that works for you.
Okay, now let’s whip up a batch.
Serves 12-16 people
Here's what you will need:
2 bottles red wine (I like to use one sweet red and one dry red.)
4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup honey
4 cinnamon sticks
2 oranges, sliced
8 whole cloves
12 black peppercorns
Additional cinnamon sticks and orange slices for garnish
Combine the cider, wine, brandy, honey, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, cloves, and peppercorns in a large pot. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove cloves and peppercorns. Serve in heatproof glasses or mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and / or orange slice.
If you need a cure for the cold weather, this is it.