A Busy Christmas Eve NEEDS Mulled Wine
The presents are not wrapped. The house is not clean. The dinner is not made. Well, some of it is – that would be the parts that my parents are bringing! It’s going to be a super-crazy day for sure. No time to spend blogging, for sure. I will spend time mulling wine though and you should too.
Mulled wine makes everything better.
- 2 small oranges (clementine or tangerine)
- 2-750ml bottles of full bodied red wine (I usually use a basic merlot. It doesn’t have to be an expensive wine. In fact, I use one of those big cheap double-bottles.)
- 8 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish, optional)
- 2 tbsp whole allspice berries
- 2 tbsp whole cloves
- 10-15 whole peppercorns
- ¾ to 1 and ½ cups brown sugar
- a few glugs of brandy/cognac or orange liquor (optional)
- Use a paring knife to poke 8 or so holes into each orange. Put them into a large pot and then add everything else except for the brown sugar and brandy. Bring the pot just up to a simmer over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add ¾ cups of the brown sugar. Stir to dissolve. Taste. If you want it sweeter, add more brown sugar.
- Put a fine mesh sieve over a big bowl. Pour the mulled wine through the sieve. If you’re serving it immediately, rinse out your pot (just so there aren’t any spice bits left clinging to the edges) and pour the wine back in.
- Put it over medium-low heat just until it is really warm again. Turn off heat and add the brandy/orange liqueur, if using. Ladle into mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick.
- If you’re not serving it immediately, let it cool a bit after straining and then use a funnel to pour it back into the original wine bottles. Push the corks in as far as you can and store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. To re-heat, pour the mulled wine into a large pot and then follow the instructions in step #3 above.
Here’s a great picture for pinning: