This is a favorite Christmas drink of mine. It's best consumed when there's a chill in the air and you are planted in front of a roaring fire built with aged oak and birch. If you want your house to smell like this drink tastes, toss an apple log on that fire.
The earliest recipe of mulled wine is traced to Rome in the second century AD. It was first recorded as spiced and heated wine. As you know, the Romans undertook conquering much of Europe. They brought their recipes with them, which is why mulled wine is ubiquitous all over Europe.
Germany calls it Glühwein (glow wine). The Nordic countries call it glogg. In the Netherlands it's called bisschopswijn (bishop's wine). And leave it to our dear neighbors to the north, the Canadians call it caribou. Amen to that, eh! Apparently the Romans never made it to Canada.
This recipe is from Ashley English's new book, Quench. The book contains over 100 recipes for both soft and hard drinks. I encourage you to buy the book, but more importantly, I encourage you to make this mulled wine recipe. I am certain you will find the the taste and the experience to be both uncommon and unforgettable. The recipe makes five cups.
One 750-ml bottle dry red wine (I like Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/3 cup sugar
Juice and zest from 1 orange
Peel from one lemon
2 teaspoons allspice berries
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Three 2-inch cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 1/2 cups of brandy
- Combine all of the ingredients except the brandy in a medium size sauce pan.
- Bring just to the boiling point, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in brandy. Serve warm in individual mugs.