After a pretty mild winter the temperature has suddenly dipped. Fortunately we’ve finally gotten our heat fixed (its been on the fritz for at least the last month!), so its far more bearable than it would be otherwise. Still though, I don’t handle the cold particularly well, and staying indoors with a mug of mulled wine and a good book is just the thing to help me through it.
What I love about making mulled wine is how simple it is to throw together, and how easy you can adjust it to your taste. Of course you can find sachets that you can toss in at the grocery store, but adding your won spices is just as easy, and usually leaves you with enough to make more than one batch. Deciding what wine to use is really up to you, but I like something on the dry side with a bit of personality that will go well with the spices. You don’t get too fancy with the wine you chose, but make sure its something you would be happy drinking on its own. Perhaps my favourite thing about making mulled wine, though, is that it makes the whole flat smell absolutely amazing as its simmering on the stovetop!
This time of year we have an nearly constant supply of clementines or satsumas in our fruit bowl, so I generally like to use the peel from one of those rather than an orange, but you could use either with delicious results. I like a strongly spiced mulled wine, which requires a healthy dose of cinnamon sticks and cloves, and sometimes a bit of fresh ginger. Finally, just before serving, I like to add a little extra kick with a few shots of whiskey or bourbon added after the spices have finished steeping and I’ve taken it off of the heat.
• 1 bottle red wine
• peel from one clementine, satsuma, or orange
• 3-4 cinnamon sticks
• 1.5 tbs whole cloves
• 2 tbs sugar
• 2-3 shots of bourbon or whiskey (optional)
- In a medium-sized saucepan over very low heat add about 1/4 of the wine, the clementine or orange peel, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Simmer for 10 minutes
- Once heated, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let simmer for about 10 more minutes. This is a good point to taste it and make sure everything tastes good.
- Add the rest of the wine, cover, and simmer for about five minutes to allow it to heat through.
- Remove from heat, add the bourbon, then cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes to let all of the flavours meld together.
- Serve in a mug with a cinnamon or orange wheel as garnish, and enjoy!