This year, I started experimenting with mulled wine a bit, and now that I've come up with a good recipe, I can't imagine this holiday season without this festive beverage. Since I've come to be so fond of a good mulled wine, I thought I should share my recipe and tips with you. So, you'll find the recipe below, but here are some of my favorite tips:
- For wine, I prefer the Rhubarb/Raspberry Blend from Forestedge Winery
- I prefer to use the Christian Brothers brandy above any others
- Add in the cloves slowly, these spices can be a bit overpowering to some people
- When in doubt, use Agave over honey. I don't know why, but it just tastes better
- If given the choice between cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon, go with the sticks. They make the wine taste better, and let's just be honest: they look pretty cool, too.
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 1 peeled and sliced orange
-1/4 cup brandy
-1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
-3 cinnamon sticks or 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-2 tsp ground ginger
All you have to do is combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat on medium until the mixture starts to steam a bit. Usually, this takes about 20-25 minutes. Then, you can either strain, or leave the spices in the wine, and serve as is. Personally, I like to leave the spices in, and allow an orange to float on the surface of each glass as a garnish. This does leave the wine a bit thicker, but it's a bit like orange juice. If you like a little pulp, try leaving the spices in; if you don't, I would highly recommend straining the mixture!
As a quick aside, I want to mention that I have tried this recipe with several different wines, and my favorite has been the Rhubarb/Raspberry Blend from Forestedge Winery. This particular wine may be a bit difficult for some of you to get ahold of, because it's from a teeny tiny town of about 115 people called Laporte in northern Minnesota. It really is amazing, though, so I would highly recommend at least checking out their website: here.