It is cold outside, the first really cold weekend this winter – perfect weather for mulled wine. The winos met equipped with recipes to share, spices to toast, fresh baguettes, cheese and charcuterie. We discovered that this warm wine is traditional during the cold winters around the world. Called glogg in the Nordic countries, Gluhwein in Germany and Austria, vin chaud in France, vinho quenete in Brazil and Portugal, vine brule in Italy, Glintwein in Russia and the list goes on.
We agreed to read each of the recipes while sipping champagne with a grandiose cheese and charcuterie platter. Then we improvised. We knew we had a winner right away, the rich licorice-like aroma of the star anise started filling the room as we were toasting the spices. Near the end the apricot brandy (I know we added more than 1 tablespoon) was a good finishing touch. This is how we combined various recipes:
- In a skillet we toasted 1 star anise petal, 4 crushed cardamom pods, 6 allspice berries, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed and a touch of nutmeg.
- We then took the spices and the zest from an orange (no rind) and wrapped them in a square of cheesecloth, tied up the corners creating an infuser bag.
- In a big soup pot, we brought to a simmer a bottle of cabernet sauvignon (it was a cheap bottle), don’t let it boil, and added the juice of one orange, the spices in the cheesecloth. We transferred it to a crockpot and let it mull for 2 hours on very low heat.
- At this point we added 1/4 cup maple syrup (a Canadian in the group insisted we use syrup), 1 tablespoon apricot brandy and we let it steep for another 30 minutes before drinking
Yummy, warm and cozy. Unfortunately there were no to-go cups. I know I’ll make it again for the Holidays.