The Holidays are my favorite time of year. Period. End of story. Growing up in sunny Southern California where 80-degree Christmases are the norm, I still love nothing more than rapping myself up in a blanket and drinking a warm, seasonal holiday drink with family or friends.
I’ve caught the culinary bug pretty bad over the past couple months, and have started scouring Pinterest, looking for new recipes to try. In the process, I’ve come across many-a-post on mulled wine. This past weekend, I decided to combine a few of them together and give it a try.
NOTE: I made this for a party, so everything is doubled to compensate. Adjust as-need!
2 bottles of red wine (Cabernet or Merlot are the usual. No need to waste a bottle of your favorite vintage on this one – a $10 bottle worked fine for me!)
4 cups of apple juice
4 cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons whole cloves
15 allspice berries
Rind of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon anis seeds (or 4 star anis)
Pour both bottles of wine into a slow-cooker, and set to high to bring it up to temperature. In the meantime, measure out spices and add to a loose tea ball. If you don’t have a tea ball, a coffee filter works great. Or if you don’t mine fishing everything out at the end (or plan on straining the final product anyway), just drop everything in!
Peel the orange. If you can, keep the peel in a long strip so you can stud it with the cloves. Otherwise, putting them in the tea ball is fine too.
Once the wine is warm, add apple juice and all the spices. If you like sweeter wine, add more sugar. If you need to stretch the recipe a little further, add more apple juice. With this recipe, I wanted to make sure the final product was distinctly spicey, but if you’re looking for more of a wine-with-hints-of-extra-stuff, reduce the amount of cloves, allspice, anis seeds, and cinnamon sticks.
Let steep on high for 3 hours and serve warm!
Enjoy and Happy Holidays,