Mulled Wine, Like Christmas in a Glass

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Move over Hot Toddy it’s time to get festive, it’s Mulled Wine time!

Mulled Wine is a European winter warmer that goes back as far as the Roman antiquity and whether you call it a Glogg (Sweden), Vin Chaud (France) or Glühwein (Germany); mix it with brandy, rum or sherry; add a dash of cinnamon, cloves, or vanilla it’s all fabulously delicious and really simple to make. And it adds wonderful, warming and festive aromas to your home!

We’ve been experimenting in the Cellarmaster Wines kitchen for the perfect mulled wine recipe to share with you this winter and after several attempts and much a jolly sampling we’ve come up with a winning concoction that’ll warm the soul and raise the spirits of even the most humbug amongst you.

Ingredients:
1 bottle of Zinfandel – we used De Loach Californian Zinfandel 2010. 
(You could also use other red wines like Syrah, Cabernet or Chianti)
1 orange
1 lime
Half a vanilla pod (halved lengthways)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 star anise
¼ cup caster sugar – you can also use honey instead if you prefer

Instructions:
1. To a saucepan place large strips of zest from the orange and lime.

2. Squeeze the juice from the orange into the pan and add the halved vanilla pod, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and sugar.

3. Pour in just enough Zinfandel to cover the sugar and spices and bring to the boil over high heat.

4. Keep at a high simmer until the wine becomes nice and syrupy and the spices have thoroughly permeated the wine.

5. Pour in the remaining Zinfandel and heat gently until warmed through – adding the rest of the wine at this point keeps the alcohol content up. If you want to make a non-alcoholic variation add all the wine together at step 4 and cook off the alcohol, but honestly, why would you want to 😉

6. Remove the spices and zest with a strainer and serve warm in tall glasses with a cinnamon stick and a little orange zest for garnish.

Handy Tip: To make removing the spices and zest from the wine easier, tie them up in a little cheesecloth before adding them to the pan.

Now that you have a glass filled with Christmas cheer all that’s left to do is pop on Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’, snuggle up on the sofa and drink and be merry.

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