Spicy Mulled Wine

Author: Shelley Bennetts  

Spicy Mulled Wine

Gazing into a fire with a glass of warm, spiced wine in hand is my idea of winter heaven. Get the fire cranked up, brew your spiced wine and enjoy a cold winter evening with friends.

Ingredients


2 mandarins
1 lemon
1 lime (oranges will also do)
250g rapadura sugar
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay Leaves
1 whole nutmeg
1 vanilla pod
2-3 cardamom pods
1 star anise pod
1 whole chilli (optional). 
2 bottles of red wine

Method

The first part of the process is to make the spicy, sweet syrup. Peel chunks of skin from your citrus, and add this and the juice of the mandarins (or oranges) to a pot with the Rapadura sugar. Add your Cinnamon, Cloves, Bay Leaves, Vanilla Pod (halved lengthways), and about 12 gratings of the whole Nutmeg. (Hold back on the Star Anise)

Over a medium heat, stir in just enough Red Wine to cover the sugar. Gently simmer until all the sugar has dissolved. Now, turn up the heat a little to bring it to a boil (but don’t walk away), and keep on a rolling boil for about 5 minutes.

At this stage, the flavours of the spices and the citrus will be blending with that little amount of wine to produce a rich, syrupy base. The high heat is needed to create the syrup, but the rest of the wine should only be warm or you will cook off the alcohol.

When the syrup is thick and aromatic, turn the heat way down, add your wine and the Star Anise, and allow it to warm up before ladling it into cups to serve.