Warming The Cockles Of My Heart…

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A Quick and Easy Mulled Wine

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Mulled wine is the perfect drink to have on a cold winter’s evening, whether tucked up in front of a nice coal fire or outside watching fireworks (or a rooftop movie). A lot of the recipes I have seen rely upon a good couple of hours to brew the flavor and use whole spices instead of ground ones, but if you don’t have that amount of time this is an acceptable quick fix and is probably ready in about 20-30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles cheap red wine (I used Trader Joe’s 2 buck chuck Cab Sav)
  • 2 good lugs of brandy
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

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Directions:

Zest, peel and segment the orange whilst reserving a few slivers of peel for garnish. Gently heat a very large saucepan and add the zest, segments, honey, sugar and all the ground spices. Cook for a couple of minutes to bring out the flavors, but stir constantly to avoid it burning or caramelizing. If you feel this is beginning to happen add some of the wine, but don’t allow it to boil as this will remove the alcohol. Once the spices have warmed up and released their flavor add the rest of the wine and brandy. Heat very gently and turn off the heat just as it is about to simmer. Strain with the most efficient strainer you have, (a coffee filter or French Press would be perfect here) and serve in mugs or glasses. Garnish with a couple of orange segments and peel, light a few candles, put on a saxophone-heavy CD and raise a toast the cold weather!

 

Reflections:

Depending upon the quality of your sieve or press you may not want to drink that last mouthful of mulled wine as some of the spices may have settled at the bottom. It can be rather potent to say the least…

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