Mulled Wine: Sangria’s Wintertime Alter Ego
I love sangria. Love it. But, there is something about it that decidedly says summertime, or at least spring. Point being, as much as I love sangria, I always hesitate to make it in winter, which is why I have such a soft spot for mulled wine.
Mulled wine is easy and low fuss. Done right, it’s also dangerously drinkable — just like sangria. It’s a great way to serve a crowd, and the spicy, boozy smell it fills the room with is rather cozy.
My method for mulled wine is, as you can see, a little unrefined. I am forever forgetting to buy anything to bundle up the spices with, so I wind up straining them out after mulling. I don’t recommend this; it’s messy.
Mulled Wine For a Crowd
4 bottles red wine
2 small oranges
4 T. mulling spices
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brandy
Pour all wine into a slow cooker or large pot. Slice oranges thinly and add to wine. Stir in sugar and all spices. Simmer on lowest heat setting for one hour. If using a slow cooker, 1 hour on the low setting will work as well. Just before serving, stir in brandy.
Many companies sell ready-mixed mulling spices. Honestly, I think most of these are fine. If you’re bent on DIYing every step, go-to spices include cloves, peppercorns, allspice berries, cinnamon, ginger, and even cardamom. Personally, I tend to use 3-4 cinnamon sticks, 1 T. cloves, 1 T. allspice berries, and a pinch of peppercorns.
In any case, mulled wine is a great drink for improvisation and customization. Try orange liqueur instead of brandy, or apples instead of oranges. Perfect your own spice blend.