Here’s Christmas in a glass: hot mulled wine is traditional, warming, fragrant, and delicious. What’s not to like?
Christmas Hot Mulled Wine
12 whole cloves
2 star anise
2 bottles (each 750ml) dry red wine*
1/2 cup sugar
Stripped zest from 2 oranges and 1 lemon, and 1 lime, plus more zest for garnish
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
The juice from one lime
2 sticks cinnamon
1 vanilla pod, halved
1 nutmeg, for grating
Tie the cloves and anise in a small square of cheesecloth, or put them in a large metal tea ball.
In a large non-aluminum pot, combine the sugar, orange, lemon, and lime zests, orange and lemon juices, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla pod pieces. Add the clove-and-anise bundle. Stir in just enough wine to cover the sugar.
Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved, then bring to a boil and continue until you have a thick, rich syrup.
Add the wine. Heat over low heat until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes; do not let it boil. Remove the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Keep the wine warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
Ladle the wine into cups or heatproof glasses, garnish with the citrus zest and serve warm.
*Although our Sumner Vineyards Pinot Noir would work in this recipe, it would be a shame to use it that way!