Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mulled Wine

Hot mulled wine was the perfect way to greet our guests when they came in from the freezing cold for a winter cocktail party.  It's warm and spicy and I completely understand why they drink it so often in The Game of Thrones series!  Using a crock pot makes it easy to control the temperature and keep it hot without boiling.  You don't have to use expensive wine, but it does make a difference to at least use a bottle you would drink on it's own.  We chose a bold variety that already had tones of cinnamon and spice so we could build on that flavor.

4 bottles red wine (or less if you aren't making it for a huge group!)
8 cinnamon sticks
1 T whole cloves
1 T whole all spice
peel from one orange and one lemon
juice from the orange and lemon
1 3 inch chunk of peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup sugar

Combine the cinnamon, cloves, all spice, orange and lemon peel onto a piece of cheese cloth.  (If you don't have cheese cloth you can still do the wine without it, but you will have to strain the wine before serving).  Tie it into a bundle and secure with twine.

Pour the wine into a crock pot and set heat to low.  Add sugar and stir.

Place the bundle of mulling spices into the pot along with the fresh ginger.  Put the lid on and heat for about one hour or until very hot. Check it occasionally to make sure it never comes to a boil.  We didn't have any issues with ours on the low setting. Then, turn heat to warm setting until you are ready to serve.

Use a ladle to pour the wine into mugs. If you didn't use cheese cloth for the mulling spices, make sure to strain the wine first.
Duke Dog Pride magnet in the reflection!
Be careful... this wine goes down easy! 

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