To continue the Christmas traditions - add to previous post – Stollen and Gluhwein – a nice afternoon combination to warm you up and make you think of Christmas. How about after finding the perfect tree? or a cold slopeside outing with friends? Apres Ski? In a chalet at #Whistler? A special Gluhwein experience I remember one New Year’s Eve – the lake was frozen solid, temperature well below zero, a clear starry sky – fireworks, children oohing and awing, and then a falling star! Nonna brought out the hot mulled wine to warm us up – ( hot mulled apple cider for the kids!)
- 2 clementines
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 200 g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 3 fresh bay leaves ( personally don’t use this)
- 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
- 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
- 2 star anise ( for me this is optional please!)
- 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
This is dead simple to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass. It’s a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’ve got your own favourite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too. Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavours have time to mingle with the wine. I like to leave my mulled wine ticking over on a really low heat and just ladle some into glasses as and when guests pop in.
Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.My personal recipe – I dilute it somewhat with water – it is less strong and tastes just as good, you can also dilute with a favourite fruit juice ( not too acidic though)
- Enjoy the cold…