Saturday, December 17, 2011

mulled wine .... a holiday favorite

jingle bell wine charms bought here for only $4 (set of 6)

This is my all time favorite fall & winter drink. My mom used to make this all the time on the holidays and fills the house with an awesome aroma and tastes AMAZING! It's a great festive holiday drink and a huge crowd pleaser.
& guess what else It is GOOD for you! All the healthy properties in the spices give you a holiday drink you can actually feel good about drinking, loaded with vitamins & antioxidants. So bottoms up! ;)

The following recipe serves 2-3 if you just want to cuddle up with your honey in front of the fireplace, but I usually double this recipe to serve 4 when we have guests over. We drink a lot.

Prep time = less than 5 minutes and cooking time = 25 minutes.

What You'll Need:
- 1 (750 ml) bottle of red wine (I prefer cabernet sauvignon. You can also try merlot or Zifandel. Honestly, cheap red wine is the best for this).
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 sliced orange. keep orange rinds on for zest.
- 10 whole cloves
- 2 tsp ginger
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2/3 cup sugar, honey, or agave syrup. I would recommend sugar or agave. I like the agave. It's is an all natural multi-purpose sweetener made from agave nectar, organic, and is 25% sweeter than sugar, so you can use a little bit less. And it dissolves much easier than the honey.

1. Puncture/stick all the little cloves randomly into the orange slices. They stay in the orange the whole time it cooks to add flavor...and so no one chokes on a clove.
2. Combine all ingredients into a crock pot or slow cooker.
3. Warm ingredients on low to medium heat. AVOID BOILING or else you will lose the alcohol content.
4. Cook for roughly 25 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally to dissolve all the sugar/honey/agave. You want to mull the spices & wine for a minimum of 20 minutes for all the ingredients to infuse together, and can keep it mulling on low heat for up to an hour. (It will give your home an absolutely amazing aroma!) Don't mull it for over an hour though, or else the spices may start to turn a bit bitter.
5. When wine is steaming it is ready to serve. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

This is so quick and easy to make and you may already have most of the ingredients already. But if you aren't up for it you can buy mulled wine spice packets here or here.

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