Perfect for the holidays, a sinful batch of Mulled Wine will fill your home with the spicy scent of the season. Feel free to experiment with the spice and sugar amounts until you find the balance that works best for your taste.
Here’s what you’ll need:2 medium sized oranges
1 lemon, just the peel
1/3 cup fine sugar
5 cloves, plus extra for garnish
5 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
2 star anise
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 bottles of fruity, unoaked red wine
Peel and juice one of your oranges, then add to a large saucepan along with the lemon peel, sugar and spices. Add enough wine to just cover the sugar, and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Bring to boil and cook for 5 – 8 minutes until you have a thick syrup.
If you're serving the mulled wine immediately, ready your garnish by studding the second orange with 6 vertical lines of cloves.
Turn the heat down, and pour the rest of the wine into the saucepan. Let everything simmer together, don't bring past a gentle boil, so the flavors have time to infuse with the wine. When you’re ready to party, keep your mulled wine warming over on a really low heat and ladle into glasses with the orange segments as a garnish when your guests arrive.
If making ahead of time, you can allow the syrup to cool, and pour it into sterilized bottles for your next batch.