It’s Christmas and it’s cold and snowy. Nothing beats warming up after a snowball fight with a nice steaming cup of mulled wine or cider. Pulling a big pot outside during family get-togethers will keep everyone toasty while the kids play, and might even get Grandma to tell you an embarrassing story about your dad.
12 whole cloves
2 nutmegs, cracked into pieces with a hammer
2 bottles dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
Stripped zest from 2 oranges and 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1. Tie the cloves and nutmeg pieces in a small square of cheesecloth, or put them in a large metal tea ball.
2. In a large pot, combine the wine, sugar, orange and lemon zests, orange and lemon juices, and cinnamon sticks. Add the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Heat over medium-low heat until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes; do not let it boil. Remove the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Keep the wine warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
3. Ladle the wine into cups or heatproof glasses, garnish with the citrus zest and serve warm.
2-3 bottle of Leelanau Witches Brew Spiced Red Wine
2-3 apples, sliced
2 oranges, sliced
5-10 Cinnamon sticks
Combine ingredients in a crock pot and warm on medium for about an hour.
Hot Mulled Cider
1/2 gallon of fresh, unfiltered apple cider
4 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
15 allspice berries
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
7 pods of cardamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1. Pour apple cider into a 3-quart saucepan, cover, turn the heat on medium-high. While cider is heating up peel two thick strips from the orange. Press half of the cloves into the peeled part of the orange. Place orange, orange peel strips, the remaining cloves, and the rest of the ingredients into the sauce pan with the cider. Keep covered and heat the mulled cider mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
2. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the hot mulled cider away from the orange, cloves, and other spices. If you want, you can add a touch of bourbon, brandy, or rum to spike it up a bit. Serve hot. Add a cinnamon stick to each cup if desired.