The cold weather holidays are our favorite time of the year — mostly because of all the fun ways there are to keep warm. Perhaps the greatest of all these methods is a large pot of mulled wine, a spicy, fragrant beverage that’s great for sipping on those days when heavy clothes and a hot fire just aren’t cutting it. Spiced wine takes all those great aromatic ingredients we love about the holidays like cinnamon, anise, and clove and combines them into a something that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
We’ve made mulled wine in a number of ways, but our favorite recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. This recipe is full of great flavor, and it isn’t so strong that you need worry about indulging yourself in a cup or two — because after the first taste, I guarantee you’ll be hooked.
- 1 bottle of red wine. Use something like a Cabernet Sauvignon here, and don’t break the bank buying it. Because of all the tasty stuff you’re going to add to the pot, the drink won’t suffer due to cheaper wine.
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1/4 honey or simple syrup
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 4 star anise
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
Mix all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring the pot to a light boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a mug through a tea strainer and garnish with a twist of orange or a cinnamon stick. This recipe is more like a list of suggestions, so adjust your spices to include whatever it is you like — a little allspice, nutmeg, or cardamom can all be good additions to the pot. Enjoy responsibly — which means making sure not a drop is wasted. Happy cooking!