I have always been a mulled cider lover.
And a wine lover.
But it wasn’t until I spent a few weeks in Europe last winter that I came to realize that I am totally a mulled wine lover too!
Seriously though — why is mulled wine not a bigger deal in the United States?!? It is seriously the perfect drink to warm you up in the evening after a chilly day out in the cold. And it’s filled with delicious spices just like cider. And warm. And sangria-ish sweet, but not too sweet. And warm. And easy to make in just 20 minutes, or made even easier in the slow cooker. And did I mention it’s warm?
I also love that mulled wine will forever bring back memories with good friends in England.
For those new to the blog, I had the privilege of spending nearly a month last December in Europe, traveling through Barcelona, Marseilles, Savona, Rome, and Sicily. It was amazing. But it wasn’t until I spent time in England (London, Oxford, Shrewsbury, and London again) that I began to fall in love with all things mulled and warm, especially mulled wine.
Let me just point out that I was freezing the entire time we were in England. My wool pea coat and scarf were not cutting it. (Hence my resolution this winter to buy a “puffy” coat.) But we quickly discovered that just about every pub in England keeps a big black cauldron of simmering wine, and my friends and I quickly became fans. Some were sweeter, some were spicier, some were fruitier, but I loved them all. It’s basically like spiced sangria — and warm!!!
Little did I know that mulled wine would actually be so quick and easy to make at home too. Turns out that it literally could not be easier. Simply bring a bottle of wine with an orange and some spices to a boil, then let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, and that’s ample time to create a delicious serving of mulled wine. You can, of course, let it simmer for much longer — which has the added benefit of making your home smell even more amazing. Or you can also let it mull in the slow cooker.
Feel free to tweak the seasonings as you’d like. I’m sure this is another drink (like my homemade chai recipe) that everyone likes spiced or sweetened a little differently. But bottom line, if you love mulled wine, you should totally try making it at home on a chilly evening.
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
- 1/4 cup honey or sugar
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for at least 15 minutes. Strain, and serve warm.
*You can also place the oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a cheesecloth. Then simply strain and pull out the bundle when ready.
Speaking of wine, I also wanted to let you know that I am taking off to Kohler, Wisconsin tomorrow with some wonderful bloggers (Sommer, Amanda, Amy, Dara, Heidi, and Sandy) for the Kohler Food & Wine Experience. If you happen to be there, be sure to come say hi! Otherwise, feel free to follow our adventures on Twitter or Instagram via the hashtag #kohlerfoodandwine. Cheers!