I’m a big believer in the healing power of booze. It’s a natural disinfectant that warms you up. Don’t believe me? Once I was served a chicken sandwich at a work lunch. After eating half, I realized it was completely raw in the middle. I did a shot of vodka and didn’t look back. Moral of the story? Booze don’t lie.
Not really sure where I was going with that story, but it’s Christmas time and nothing says cold ass Christmas like some hot wine. Poland has a version of mulled wine which is called grzane wino which means heated wine. Lots of other Euro countries drink this too. They just all want to be warm while partying at the same time.
Mulled wine is great on an evening (or day — no judgement) where it’s effing cold out, you have the sniffles and don’t want to be the only one throwing back the booze. It’s really easy to make on the stove top or by just chucking everything into a slow cooker. Just a few ingredients and 30 min, you’re partying it up euro-style in no time!
Why is mulled wine awesome? You bring out some mulled wine, the winter-time sangria, suddenly, everyone is interested in what you’re holding and embarrassed with their can of whatever. If you make a big batch to share with your friends, you’ll be the hit of the party but also looking down at them since you’re so cultured with your cool, euro mulled wine. Except make sure that you put your slow cooker away because no one can be a snooty a-hole with a slow cooker nearby.
Mulled wine isn’t really that common in Canada (and I’m assuming the US), but as I mentioned, it’s popular in Europe. My Eastern Euro coworker found that out at a local restaurant. She was surprised they didn’t offer mulled wine but was so in the mood for it, she asked for a glass of wine to be microwaved and a piece of orange thrown in. The waitress thought she was nuts, did it anyway and it tasted like sour shit. Make this recipe instead.
1 bottle of dry red wine
1 cup brandy (optional)
1 cup apple cider (optional)
¼ cup honey
1 orange, sliced
10 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
1 inch ginger piece, peeled and sliced
1 cinnamon stick
Put it all in a pot or slow cooker and bring it to a low simmer. Do not bring it to a boil or you will cook out the alcohol. If you’re going to do that, you might as well just throw some grape juice into the microwave (but not wine with an orange slice 🙂
What’s up with all the optional stuff? Well not everyone has all this stuff on hand. The most important ingredients are the wine (obv), spices and orange. Some recipes call for sugar, but I’m not a fan of adding a bunch of white sugar to anything if I can help it.
If you’re feeling a chill on a cold winter’s day, getting the sniffles or just want to drink a bunch of wine with less judgement, make some mulled wine.
PS – you can easily double, triple, quad-whatever this recipe for a larger crowd or the manglers in your life.