Mulled for the Gods
Mulling wine for the good of Thanksgiving was the best idea I've had in a while. Here's a very precise recipe that I used. Sorry for the lack of real pics... but you can imagine, right?
If not, you can imagine it looks a little like this minus the star anise because it's my least favorite spice of all time—I mean, who really needs a spice that tastes vaguely of licorice and/or fennel? 😠
I paired the picture of mulling wine with one of my sister passed out after consuming most of said wine. Recipe after the jump.Don't worry. I helped. There just wasn't too much love for what was deemed "hot wine" by my relatives in Alabama.On to the recipe!
5-10 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Bottles of some Decent-ish Red Wine—about a 6/10*.
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup of Brandy**
1/2 cup of Cointreau
A microplane grater or a skilled knife person or a cocktail zester.
A large, non-metal (the part touching the wine) pot.
Like, spoons and stuff.
A carafe that will keep it nice and warm—if that's your thing.
You know, I hear that people steep the herbs and them add the wine to that water. This seems like a waste since you're already weakening the wine with heat. So, we did it all straight in the wine.
Add two bottles (totaling 1.5 liters) of wine into a preferable ceramic pot of some kind.
Put it on medium heat for the moment.
Zest the whole of your orange into the pot.
Bisect it, juicing half into the pot and keeping an eye out for seeds that you small cousins that definitely aren't going to drink this might choke on (but, I mean, if it'll make them sleep faster...)
Now, I'm here to tell you that cloves are pointy on one end and kinda flat on the other. Shove the pointy sides into the orange about .5 cm apart like you're repeatedly trying to kill a vampiric balding orange.
Gently put that in the pot with its flesh facing up but covered a bit the wine.
Add 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.
Add 1/2 a cup ea. of the Cointreau and Brandy.
Toss in 5 cinnamon sticks.
Optional: If you're making whole cranberry sauce, skim some off the top and add that in there as well. You won't regret it.
Bring it to a low boil then take the heat immediately down your burner's lowest setting, keeping it covered. Once 5-15 minutes have elapsed (depending on how spiced you want things), fish out the spices and orange half. The Orange should have kept all the cloves from scattering about.
If you want to make things a bit easier, feel free to wrap all that stuff in cheese cloth, but I'd rather not lose any liquid.
Next, Get the mulled wine out of the post ASAP and serve warm or cooled down or over ice. It's tasty all these ways. I like it warm and served over a fresh stick of cinnamon and garnished w/ cranberries and a fresh orange wedge—just the way god intended. And, if the family holiday drama has already started, serve it at a 5:1 ratio of wine to extra brandy.*
A mistake I actually made, so I killed the bottle I brought the night before and grabbed some classy Walgreen's table red the next AM.
*You can really go complimentary to either the citrus, the holiday, or the wine. So... Pisco, Pomace, or Cognac.