Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

Christmas wouldn't be the same without a few special, once a year treats.  Surely Mulled Wine is one of these.  As I am not a fan of egg-nog which I find cloying and overly thick (and reminiscent of mucus) Mulled Wine will always be my Christmas Tipple.

The quantity below is to share at a Christmas gathering with friends, and therefore is a generous volume designed to be consumed at one event.  To store the Mulled Wine a sealable container can be used, however quality will deteriorate.  I prefer to pour any remaining Mulled Wine over Christmas puddings or cakes to keep them moist throughout the Christmas period.

 

2 bottles of good, full bodied red wine

200mls Brandy or Kirsch

250mls still mineral water

2 oranges

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Whole cloves

Strips of peel from 2 additional oranges

1 vanilla bean, split but not scraped

¼ cup Demerara sugar

1 teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

3 cinnamon quills

1 star anise

Threads of mace

½ tablespoon juniper berries

 

To present Mulled Wine, a generous punch bowl, presentation flask or carafes will be needed.

Take the oranges and stud with cloves, place in a warm oven (around 80 -100°C) for 30 minutes to soften slightly and release their oils.

While the fruit is warming, prepare the rest of your ingredients in a large saucepan.

Over a low heat add the spices and juniper berries and warm them through until they begin to release their pungency.

Add the lemon zest and juice, sugar and water an increase the heat, bringing the liquid to a simmer.  Add the vanilla bean and allow the seeds to simmer out, then add the strips of orange peel and reduce the heat.

Add the Brandy and wine and warm through very gently. 

Turn off the heat and add the warmed oranges.

Decant the liquor into the serving vessel and allow to settle before serving.

If preferred the spices can be sieved out, returning the cinnamon quills, star anise and oranges for presentation.