This may be the merriest mulled wine ever. I’ll let you be the judge.
It’s based on a few recipes I’ve gathered from the Interwebs over the years … a mashup of sweetness and spice that, as soon as you taste it, will become your go-to Yuletide sipper.
Here’s what you’ll need:
• 1 750 ml bottle fruity red wine (I like Stones & Bones! Anything too tannic and dry will not be quite as tasty.)
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/3 cup honey
• splash of cranberry juice (optional)
• 6 clementines, halved
• 1/4 cup brandy
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 tsp whole allspice berries
• 4 star anise
• 1/2 tsp whole cloves
• 5 whole cardamom pods (crush lightly before adding)
• 1/2 vanilla bean (cut open)
• 1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg
• 1/2 cup whole fresh cranberries
• 5 sprigs rosemary
• superfine sugar
How to do it:
Pour the wine, water, cranberry juice (if using) and honey into your dutch oven and heat over medium-high, stirring to dissolve the honey. (Save yourself a headache: lightly coat the measuring cup you use for the honey with unflavored cooking spray – it’ll slide right out.). Next, juice half of the clementines and add to the pot. Then, add the rest of the ingredients. Stir, then bring to just barely a simmer. Turn down to the lowest heat setting for 15-20 minutes, then serve. Some people like to strain out the bits, but I like it with all the stuff in there – your call. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and/or candied rosemary sprigs. (To make those, just dip each sprig in water, lay over parchment paper or paper towels, then sprinkle with superfine sugar and let dry for an hour.)
*Note: if you want to double the recipe, go for it. Just don’t make the same mistake I did – you do NOT have to double the whole spices, like the cardamom.