Warm, spiced wine is very popular in different parts of Europe and we have no idea why it hasn’t caught on as much here, in the U.S. Mulled wine (or “Gluhwein” as it’s known in German) conjures up visions of picturesque Christmas markets nestled into little villages, deep in the heart of Germany, Austria, or the U.K.at least, for us it doesand is the perfect way to warm up and celebrate when it’s cold outside. If you don’t like wine or just don’t feel like imbibing, replace the alcohol in this recipe with apple cider; it’s just as delicious and seasonal! This is the perfect drink to prepare for holiday parties and it will make everyone that much more excited for the season!
Yields 3-4 cups
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine (Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, etc.)
- 2 cups orange juice (freshly squeezed or 100% juice)
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 orange, whole (1 more if you want to garnish with slices)
- 1-2 tablespoons whole cloves
- Add wine, brandy, orange juice and honey to a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve honey.
- Rinse orange thoroughly and stud all over with cloves. If needed, pierce orange with knife or toothpick first to create holes for the cloves.
- Add clove-studded orange, cinnamon sticks and star anise to the wine mixture.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Carefully strain wine and serve warm, garnished with sliced orange, star anise and cinnamon.[Optional: make your mulled wine in a slow cooker by combining ingredients and cooking on low for 2-3 hours. Lower heat to “warm” for unsupervised serving.]
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven