With grading papers and moving out of the efficiency I was living in, I'm a little late posting my Christmas recipes. Now, since I am staying with my parents for the holidays, I have access to a full kitchen and so was able to get all the Christmas posts photographed.
For this mulled wine post, a special thanks goes out to my mom for helping me with the pictures--the Christmas ornaments, gingerbread cookie, and china were all her doing and I enjoyed having another creative eye.Mulled Wine
Ever since I studied abroad in England, I've been in love with mulled wine. Nothing makes me think of Christmas and winter like a mug of mulled wine and gingersnaps. I do a couple of variations, one more citrusy and with rosemary, and this one that features spicier notes and balanced with citrus. I don't like mine very sweet, so you may want to add more sugar. I also like mine pretty strong, so you may want to add a little water to yours.
Ingredients½ cup brown sugar (more to taste)
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup water
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. peppercorns
1 inch cube of ginger, cut into slices
1 bottle of red wine
1 pear, cut into thin slices
½ orange cut into slices
50 ml of orange contreau
50 ml of brandy
½ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
1. Put brown sugar, honey, water, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns, and ginger in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and continue to boil until the water reduces by half.
2. Add the bottle of wine, orange slices, and pear slices. Heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes. Avoid boiling.
3. Add the Cointreau and brandy and vanilla (optional). Cook without cover for 15 minutes. Again, avoid boiling.
4. Strain out fruit and spices. Serve hot.