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Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a wonderful winter treat.

Recipes vary from one culture to the next, but all require mixing wine with spices, fruit, and sugar or honey and serving it hot.

If you’d like to try your hand at making mulled wine, be sure to start with a good wine. Many people think it’s alright to use poor quality wine given that it will be cooked, but the finished product won’t be as good. Most mulled wine recipes call for red wine, but a few favor white or a blend of the two. Some also include brandy, though in Scandinavia, vodka is more likely to be used.

Recipes for mulled wine also usually require citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons, or limes (peels, juice, or cut up fruit), though some people also include other fruit such as berries, figs, or apple juice. A little honey or sugar is usually added as well.

The key to creating an appealing mulled wine blend is the spice mixture. Cinnamon, cloves, and anise are usually included, and cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, coriander seeds, and/or vanilla pods may be used as well. Spices can be added whole – there’s no need to grind up cinnamon sticks or whole cloves, for example. If you don’t want to make your own blend, there are premixed mulled wine spice packages available in most supermarkets.

To make mulled wine, add the ingredients to a saucepan and heat the mixture on medium until it steams; then turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for at least 20 minutes (preferably longer). Don’t allow the mixture to boil. When it’s ready, you can strain it if you’d like or just ladle it out leaving the spices behind.

Some people add berries or other fruit when the wine is done or during the last few minutes of heating.

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