What I'm Drinking: Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine || A Less Processed Life

Just when it seemed like there was no chance for a white Christmas up here in the Northwoods, we finally got a decent amount of snow last night. Now everything is covered with a lovely blanket of fluffy white snow -- so much better than the layer of mud we had yesterday after a long day of rain.

Mulled Wine || A Less Processed Life

After a spate of warm weather (well, if you consider the 30s and low 40s 'warm'), we're finally settling into temperatures in the 20s with even more snow on the horizon. Perfect weather for grabbing a good book, a couple of blankets, and a seat by the fire. Oh, and a glass of this delicious hot mulled wine, too.

A couple of hours in the slow cooker with a sachet of mulling spices can turn even the most humble vintage of wine into a sweet and gently-spiced warming beverage. Add a cinnamon stick for stirring and a few whole cranberries, and you've got yourself the perfect drink to share at your next winter gathering.

Mulled Wine (printer-friendly version)
makes 8-10 servings

2 bottles red wine (I like to use an inexpensive red blend)
1 mulling spice sachet (2 cinnamon sticks; 2 teaspoons allspice berries; 6 whole cloves; 1 teaspoon coriander seeds; 1 teaspoon cardamom pods, gently crushed; 1 whole star anise)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon triple sec
6 thinly-sliced orange wheels (about half an orange)

cinnamon sticks and whole cranberries, for garnish [optional]

1. Pour the wine into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the mulling spice sachet. Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.
3. After 2 hours, sweeten with sugar and stir in the brandy and triple sec. Add the thinly-sliced orange wheels. Simmer for another half-hour before serving. Garnish each serving with whole cranberries and a cinnamon stick, if desired.

Mulled Wine || A Less Processed Life