Mulled Wine Recipe:
- 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine (choose a fruity, full-bodied wine like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Zinfandel)
- 1 orange, sliced into rounds
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds (optional)
- 8-10 whole cloves
- 3-4 whole star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup honey or granulated sugar, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup brandy, Cognac, or orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- Pour the red wine into a large pot or saucepan.
- Add the orange and lemon slices to the pot. You can also stud some of the orange slices with whole cloves to make it easier to remove them later, or simply add the cloves directly to the wine.
- Add the star anise, cinnamon sticks, honey or sugar, and freshly grated nutmeg (if using) to the pot.
- Gently warm the wine mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the honey or sugar. Be careful not to let the wine come to a boil, as this can cause the alcohol to evaporate.
- Allow the wine to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, so the flavors of the spices and fruit can infuse the wine.
- After simmering, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the brandy, Cognac, or orange liqueur.
- Taste the mulled wine and adjust the sweetness, if necessary, by adding more honey or sugar.
- Strain the mulled wine through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the spices and fruit slices, and transfer the wine to a heatproof serving bowl or individual mugs.
- If desired, garnish the mulled wine with additional orange slices, cinnamon sticks, or star anise.
Serve your mulled wine warm and enjoy! This comforting and aromatic beverage is perfect for sipping on cold winter evenings or during festive gatherings. You can also make it ahead of time and gently reheat it before serving.