The Christmas markets in Europe are something we love to visit. The markets evoke all of the senses with the beautiful lights, the holiday smells and great holiday treats to try. One of the things we like to enjoy is the warm mulled wine. It warms you up from the inside out when it is cold. It has great spiced flavors from cinnamon, cloves and star anise.
Since we cannot visit the great European Christmas markets this year, we thought we would share a recipe to at least mentally transport you with the smells and flavors. There is also a cold front that will be hitting many on Christmas so this will help warm you up as well!
This recipe can also be cut in half for a smaller gathering.
- 2 bottles of red wine – we recommend a medium body, dry wine with good fruit characteristics, such as, merlot, California pinot noir, Malbec
- ½ cup of brandy
- 2 oranges
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks plus more for garnishes
- 12 allspice berries or 12 cloves
- 4 whole star anise
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
Juice one orange and cut the other orange into segments for garnish.
Add orange juice, 1 cup of red wine, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, star anise and peppercorns to a 3-quart stockpot or Dutch oven. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add remaining wine and brandy. Using a thermometer, make sure to heat until just below 170 degrees. You want to make sure the temperature does not reach 173 degrees since this is when the alcohol will evaporate out.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick, an orange segment and enjoy!