Mulled wine & Christmas cookies
Alex and I became positively addicted to mulled wine in 2011 when we went to the German Christmas markets in Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and Munich for the first time. In the freezing weather, a hot mug of mulled wine was just the trick to stay warm. After a couple of markets, we also realised we didn’t have to return the mugs to get our deposit back – we could keep these cute little mugs as souvenirs! Every market had its own mug with a unique design, and the year and place inscribed.
Since then, every year I’ve been making my own mulled wine in December and putting them in these mugs. Last year we also made a trip to Denmark to check out the Christmas scene there…and decided that we liked the German version of mulled wine so much better. So this year we’re headed back to Germany soon, for another round of markets and gluhwein before Christmas! However, since it’s already getting cold and dark in London, I’ve been dying to make some mulled wine at home anyway. This weekend was the perfect time. We spent Sunday baking up Christmas cookies, drinking mulled wine, and decorating our little Christmas tree in front of our (real!) fireplace. The cookies are mainly going to work with me tomorrow, as an office-warming present…what’s left of them anyway!
And because I cannot stop raving about this lovely winter drink, here’s my recipe for mulled wine (adapted from the Jamie Oliver magazine from November 2012).
Mulled wine – serves 2-3; double the recipe if you’ve got company!
- 50 mL orange juice
- 50g brown sugar
- Quarter of an orange
- 2 cloves
- Half a star anise
- A small cinnamon stick
- Half a vanilla pod
- 1/2 bottle of red wine – not too expensive, but drinkable red wine!
- 1 tbsp of port, spiced rum, or something else spiced/flavoured. I typically use an apple-infused vodka that I made in the autumn when apples were everywhere in my kitchen
- Warm up the orange juice and sugar in a heavy bottomed pot until sugar dissolves
- Put the cloves in the orange, and put orange, star anise, cinnamon, and vanilla into the orange juice mixture to infuse. You can do this step a day in advance if you’re planning to serve this drink at a party
- Add in the wine and port/rum, and bring to just under a simmer. The drink should be served piping hot, but don’t boil the alcohol!
- Garnish the mugs with cinnamon sticks and orange slices as you see fit. Enjoy!
If I’m really on top of things this December, maybe I’ll get around to sharing this recipe too…