I know, my bay never really does have the right kind of temperature for warm mulled wine. But I think in December, it just feels so right. I love this recipe. It's yummy and so apt for Christmas that you just have to include it in your Christmas menu. It smells of good tidings, of love, peace and all that Christmas stands for. It also reminds me of London and Christmas carols on the streets. I know it is easier to just serve red wine when you have a crowd of people in your home and you are cooking and being a hostess. But with this, it's just a little extra special.
2 oranges, peeled and juiced (use peels for zest)
Half cup demerara sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp all spice, ground
2 tsp nutmeg, grated
1 bottle full bodied red wine
Half cup cognac
1 lemon, peeled
In a non-stick pot, on medium flame, mix the sugar and water.
Add the zest and juice of the two oranges.
Add the vanilla bean, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, all spice and nutmeg gratings.
Bring to a boil.
After about 25 minutes, add about half a cup of wine
Simmer for 20 minutes more to get a syrupy consistency, infused with all the flavours.
Add the remaining wine and cognac and gently bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes.
Do not overheat as the alcohol will evaporate.
Ladle into glasses and serve warm
You can also add seasonal fruits to the warm mulled wine. Let the preparation sit for 15 mins.
Always serve warm, but do not reheat.
Excerpted from 'From My Kitchen To Yours' by Maria Goretti, with permission from Om Books International. The excerpt has been lightly edited for style.