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Mulled Wine: A Cozy Holiday Cocktail
Mulled Wine is one of the coziest cocktails to mark the holidays with scents of orange, cardamom and red wine adding to the festive feeling of the season. While traditionally associated with Christmas markets and outdoor wintry settings, this warming beverage has become a trendy seasonal beverage perfect for fireside gatherings and casual cocktail fetes as well.
The holidays may look a little different this year, and while we wish we could toast a tipple with you next to the roaring fire in our Grand Lobby, we still wanted to share our favorite Mulled Wine recipe so that you can celebrate with your favorite people safely at home.
- 1 navel orange
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 whole cloves
- 4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 2 cardamom pods
- 8 teaspoons Cognac, divided into glasses
- With a sharp paring knife or a vegetable peeler, cut or peel a strip of skin from the orange, approximately 1 by 5 inches in size. Carefully remove as much of the white pith from the piece of zest as you can, since it will add bitterness to the wine. Set the orange aside for another use.
- Combine the wine, sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and peeled orange zest in a large saucepan over very low heat. Heat the mixture until it nearly reaches a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Do not allow the wine to come to a boil, or the alcohol will evaporate and the flavor will be affected. The wine will be at its optimal temperature when the sugar has dissolved and steam rises when the mixing spoon is lifted from the wine.
- Maintain this temperature to keep the wine warm, letting it steep with the spices to develop flavor. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor.
- Strain the wine through a fine-mesh sieve or a cheesecloth-lined colander into a clean saucepan. Discard the spices.
- Cover the pan and let wine stand for five to 10 minutes before serving.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of Cognac to four individual warmed mugs or heatproof glasses.
- Ladle in the mulled wine and serve next to a crackling fire. Enjoy!
- Always remember to use a fruity, relatively young red wine. It should be of decent quality, but it doesn’t need to be expensive.
- Use a clean non-reactive pot
- Never let the wine boil
- Let the mulled wine rest five to 10 minutes before serving
- Serve with optional garnishes, such as 1 star anise, 1 whole cinnamon stick, an apple slice, or an orange slice
- Whiskey, Amaretto, or Cointreau may be substituted for the Cognac
Wishing you happiness and tasty cocktails this holiday season!