Sweater weather has arrived at last! Here’s our favorite drink to cozy up with as the weather gets colder, courtesy of Kat Odell’s Day Drinking: 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz.
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From Craig Lane of Bar Agricole, San Francisco
During the colder months, and especially when organizing holiday gatherings, mulled wine is my go-to. Not only is hot spiced wine incredibly simple to make—you’re basically dumping a bunch of ingredients into a pot and cooking—but the outcome of the drink always tastes far more complex than the effort that went into making it. Sometimes mulled wine can be a bit too sweet: The heat of the drink masks the sugar, but if you don’t finish your mug right away and the wine cools down a bit, suddenly the sweetness can wallop you. Happily, this recipe is the exception. Not too sweet, but just sweet enough, it tastes like the holidays in a glass. Note that it makes enough for a big party, but you can easily scale it down by cutting the recipe in half or even a quarter.
Makes about 40 cups.
- 8 bottles (750 ml each) dry, fruity red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 3 oranges studded with cloves, then sliced into 1⁄2-inch-thick wheels
- 30 whole cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Peel of 2 lemons
- 2½ cups brandy, such as Armagnac or Cognac
- 1 bottle (750 ml) kirsch or maraschino liqueur, for serving
- Combine the wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, clove-studded orange wheels, cloves, mace, allspice, nutmeg, and lemon peel in a 9-quart stockpot over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, 15 minutes.
- Add the brandy and simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large heatproof bowl, pressing the oranges with the back of a spoon to extract the juice; discard the solids. Return the mulled wine to the pot and keep warm, over low heat. To serve, pour 1⁄2 ounce of the kirsch into each mug and top with 1⁄2 cup of the mulled wine.