Today is cold, wet, windy, grey, and dismal. It’s glorious.
Now I realize my sentiments towards rainy days may not be shared by everyone. Some of you live in places where rainfall is nothing special. In fact, you may be pretty darned tired of rainy days and long for extended stretches of sunny days. It’s that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” phenomena.
Long stretches of sunny days are not an issue for me. We have plenty of those, thank you very much. In fact, I could do with a bit less of that. There is almost never any rain from the beginning of May to the end of October. When the rain does come, it’s in clusters with extended dry spells in between. What about snow? Wait… what’s that??
Needless to say, when these cold rainy days occur, they are welcomed heartily by people like me. It also provides a convenient excuse to imbibe in something special. Especially if it is a warm “something special”. And even more if it’s a lightly sweetened and spiced warm “something special”. You know, like mulled wine, the whole purpose of this post!
Some quick notes before you begin:
There are a lot of options of wine to choose from. I would suggest using one that is a little on the sweeter side and not a dry variety. The warmth of the beverage makes the tannins in the wine more noticeable and not always in a good way.
Mulled wine is typically associated with being a holiday drink, however, clearly it can be enjoyed any time you like! Part of it’s seasonal connection comes from the fact that winter is when citrus fruits are ready in more milder climates and mulled wine is traditionally made with orange slices for flavor. Think of it like winter’s version of a Sangria!
If possible, use whole spices rather than ground. This way your drink is not gritty. If you don’t have whole spices available, you may wish to strain your beverage through something like a coffee filter before serving. Also, use less than the amount listed because the ground spices will release more flavor than whole.
The amounts of spices listed below are very customizable. Feel free to use more or less than what is specified.
Mulled Wine (Spiced Wine) Recipe
- 750 mL (one bottle) of red wine of choice, preferably a sweeter variety
- 1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long)
- 3 to 4 whole allspice berries
- 3 to 4 whole cloves
- 2 to 3 cardamom pods, slightly cracked open
- 1 to 2 star anise
- brown sugar to taste (this will be dependent on the level of sweetness of your wine)
Combine all the ingredients together in a pot. Bring just to a boil, then turn the heat down, cover the pot, and allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes. You may serve right away or allow the flavors to blend more over a day. Also, this is perfect for preparing in a crock pot set to low heat and allowed to cook for 8 hours or so. Prepare in the morning and serve it that evening! Enjoy!