It's the thick of winter and the last thing you want to do is drink a cold bottle of red. The problem is: you love red wine. As does any sensible person. Fortunately, there's a way to enjoy a nice Merlot or Cabernet, while also warming one's cockles: spicy, delicious mulled wine.
Now, when it comes to making mulled wine, it's easy to go overboard. And yes, the more effort you go to and the fresher the ingredients, the tastier a beverage you'll have.
But no one's got time for that, especially when you're shivering, glass in hand and the wine's going everywhere except your mouth — its natural abode.
So, let's keep things simple. My go-to recipe is this one from Taste:
- 10 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 roughly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups water
- roughly grated rind of 1 orange
- 1 apple, roughly chopped (skin on)
- 750ml fruity red wine (such as a merlot)
Actual cloves? And cinnamon sticks? Sure, you can do that, or you can grab the ground stuff. You can substitute a whole nutmeg and two cinnamon sticks for 10g of each spice. This recipe is also missing star anise, which is the bomb. Crack a two or three seeds and pop them in.
I don't bother grating the orange rind: toss a few slices in there, being sure to squeeze in the juice first.
Now, for the actual cooking. As the Taste recipe states, toss everything except the wine into a big saucepan, bring it to boil at medium heat and then give it 10 minutes to simmer. Then, pour in the wine, give it five more minutes simmering, strain and drink.
Mulled wine [Taste]