The key to mulled wine is to warm the wine without boiling it, which would cook off the alcohol. When your kitchen smells so achingly good that you're dying to try a cup of this masterpiece, you'll know it's done.
- 1 orange
- 15 whole cloves
- 1 bottle red wine (inexpensive Cabernet or Malbec)
- 1/4 cup sugar (turbinado is nice)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 cup brandy
- Large pot or slow cooker
1 Stud the cloves into the orange, then cut the orange: Push the cloves into the orange (see this picture for reference), then cut the orange into half circles. (Studding the cloves into the orange means you won't have to worry about floating cloves in your drink.)
Alternatively, cut the orange into half circles and add it and the cloves to the wine separately.
2 Add ingredients to the pot: Add all the ingredients to a pot or a slow cooker.
3 Heat the wine: On the stovetop, simmer the wine for 20–25 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to mix ingredients and dissolve sugar. If you're using a slow cooker, heat the wine on low heat for 1 1/2 hours or on high for 45 minutes, until warm.
When the mulled wine smells amazing, tastes spicy, and is hot (but not boiling), it's done. Serve and enjoy!