Sure, Sangria’s great and all, but when that temperature starts dipping low, we need another way to use our left-over red wine to create something totally delicious! Enter mulled wine, a holiday classic that comes from Germany (they call it Glühwein). Meant to be drunk after a long day of hitting the slopes, this is the drink of choice for snow-bunnies and couch potatoes alike.
It’s warm, it’s spiced and it tastes like a big warm hug. Did we mention we really like this drink? Warning: it goes down easily, a little too easily, so try and drink in moderation. Or at least make sure you have nothing important to do after downing a few, because you’ll really just want to snuggle into your happy place.
2 large bottles of red wine (we recommend a Chianti)
1 cup raw sugar
Seeds from ½ a vanilla bean
Peels from two oranges
1 star anise
4 ounces triple sec (optional)
Orange wedges and cinnamon sticks for each glass
Place all spices, sugar and about a ¼ of a bottle of red wine (or just enough to cover everything) in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil until sugar dissolves, then turn down the heat and reduce into a thick syrup (about 5-7 minutes).
Place a strainer on top of a large pot, pour the mixture into the pot through the strainer, separating peels and spices from the liquid and discard them. Add rest of wine to the large pot and heat until warm. Add triple sec (optional).
To serve, put an orange slice and cinnamon stick in a glass mug and add wine from pot.