Thursday, December 22, 2011

mulled wine for winter cheer

Recently, a dear friend came into town for a visit. We had put the date on our calendars over a month ago, but hadn't yet decided how we were going to spend our evening together. On the day of our long-anticipated date, we got on the phone and decided to go shopping for snacks and bevvies together. After conferring with each other, we decided on mulled wine, cranberry-cinnamon goat cheese, and chili chocolate.

Using the recipe in Joy of Cooking as a rough guide, we had delicious mulled wine that evening, just the two of us. But then, I decided to revamp the recipe for a party I was hosting. And, I scaled it up from two servings to 20.

The mulled wine (and the party) were a hit! I added some white grape juice, because I found the taste of straight simmered wine a bit too potent and slightly bitter for my taste. This is eminently drinkable, and very warming. I hope you enjoy lifting a cup of this with some loved ones this Christmas season.

Mulled Wine (with props to Mama Rombauer)

1.5 litres of dry red wine (ask your wine merchant for a recommendation - they'll direct you straight to a "value" red wine, which gets dressed up beautifully for the occasion)
1 litre of white grape juice
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup Cointreau orange liqueur
3 - 4 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, sliced into 1/2" thick slices, and studded with whole cloves

Pour all ingredients into a pot. Stir to mix until sugar is dissolved. Bring up just to a simmer, and then keep warm to serve. You can also prep and serve this in a crock pot if you have time.

Makes about 20 servings.

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