A glass of warm mulled wine, to me, is the Christmas spirit in a nutshell. Every time I drink it during winter, I feel like I'm on holiday!
|mulling spices: star anise, clove, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, lemon grass, black pepper, vanilla bean|
This is basically my goal in life: To trick myself into thinking I'm on vacation every day. A glass of this wine certainly does the trick!
Warm Red Mulled Wine
One bottle full-bodied red wine (e.g. Shiraz/Cabernet)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 inch square fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
3 inch section lemon grass, halved
5 whole cloves
1 large star anise
1/2 vanilla bean pod, halved
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 of one whole nutmeg
Place all ingredients in a small pot on the stove top over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Heat for 20 minutes on low. Strain and serve warm with a cinnamon stick in each glass, if desired.
*You may have trouble finding whole star anise at your market, as well as whole nutmeg. Many markets do carry "mulling spices" in a packet, however. While I would much rather consume mulled wine with the recipe I've listed here than with generic mulling spices, I do find it handy to have mulling spices on hand so I can borrow star anise and nutmeg chunks from it if need be.