Mulled wine and cider are usually thought of as seasonal beverages, but they are also wonderfully social drinks to get you through the long winter months after the New Year's. Plus, there's no better way to use up inferior wine you may have kicking around (or your grandfather's home-made).
1 bottle of wine (usually red, but white works nicely too) OR 1 litre of apple cider
2 Tbsp Mulling Spices
Muslin bag or cheese cloth
2 Tbsp sugar or honey
2 oz brandy
1 orange, sliced
6" cinnamon sticks for garnish
- Tie the spices up in the muslin bag or a piece of cheese cloth.
Spices need to simmer for a little while to begin releasing their flavour. But you don't want to simmer your wine too long, or you'll lose all the alcohol. So simmer the spices in water for 10 minutes, then pour out the water and add your wine or cider to the pot.
- Heat the wine or cider gently on the stove until it is warm, but don't allow it to boil! The longer you keep the spices in, the more intense the flavour will be, but it's usually ready in 5-15 minutes.
- Add the sugar or honey to the pot, along with a couple good glugs of brandy and 4 or 5 slices of orange. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Discard the spices and ladle the drink into warm mugs. Garnish each with a cinnamon stick and half an orange slice.
- You can also pour the finished drink into a crock pot and keep it warm and ready-to-serve for hours – great for parties!