The 2021 Holidays Recipe Collection
How you doin’? How do I love Mulled Wine? Let me count the ways. It’s festive. It looks “pretty.” It tastes, well, like Christmas. It makes your house smell amazing. It’s great for parties. It is also known as glühwein, vino caliente, vin brulé, bisschopswijn, vin chaud, candola, vinho quente or literally a hundred other names, depending on where in the world you live or travel. It seems like just about everyone in every part of the world loves a hot wine drink.
I tasted my first glögg (warm spiced wine) in Ahaus, Denmark at a Christmas market many years ago. There, the locals love warming up steamy mugs of hot wine each evening in the homes and pubs everywhere. It is served at nearly every holiday gathering, Christmas markets and food festivals. Now, more than ever before, it is, delicious, nostalgic and comforting.
I am absolutely convinced that homemade mulled wine is just about the easiest recipe ever for winter and holiday entertaining. Truly, it literally takes just about 10 minutes to prep and heat and can be made either on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. It’s easy to scale anywhere from a “date night” for two, up to big holiday parties with dozens in attendance. It’s totally customizable with your favorite spices and liqueurs. And it’s guaranteed to make your home smell festive and will warm everyone up on a chilly holiday season winter night.
So grab a bottle of wine and brandy and let’s get mullin’!
1 bottle of wine: No need to buy an expensive bottle—a mid-range bottle of dry red or white wine will do. (If you’re preparing a large bowl, you can use a boxed wine.) The best wines for mulled wine will be fruity and full-bodied, so that it can withstand the heat and not have its flavor completely drowned out by the aromatics; try bottle of Zinfandel, Merlot or Grenache.
2 ounces brandy: You can also use Cointreau (or another orange liqueur) or tawny port is also a delicious alternative.
2 fresh oranges: cut one of the oranges in quarters and mull it in the wine. Use the second orange as a garnish. (To minimize bitterness, feel free to peel the orange before simmering it in the wine.)
3 to 4 cinnamon sticks: Glögg just would be glögg without cinnamon sticks. Now you know what to do with those sticks that have been in your spice cabinet for a couple of years.
Assorted aromatic mulling spices: My favorites are whole cloves and star anise, plus perhaps a few cardamom pods.
2 to 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar (or brown sugar, maple syrup or honey) more or less to taste.
ChefSecret: To minimize bitterness, peel the orange before warming in the wine.
Quip of the Day: “I refuse to add this year to my age… it went unused.”
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Have a wonderful safe and healthy holiday season. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2021
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