Mulled Wine, or Vin Chaud in France, has its ancient origins in medieval Europe. “Mulled” simply means heated and spiced and it was common in colder months for wine to be warmed with basic spices such as cinnamon, cloves and citrus. Lesser quality wines, or even wines that had taken a turn for the worse, could be revived into this comforting drink which was also thought to be a health tonic. An excellent chill chaser, mulled wine is very popular around Christmastime when homes are filled with the sweet and spicy fragrance of a simmering pot of red wine infusing with spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, star anise, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and honey. Sitting down to a a ruby cup of this aromatherapy with a few spiced cookies for dunking evokes a timeless sense of old world comfort. We both enjoyed our cups below with some star anise absinthe biscotti.
Mulled Wine Recipe by Ina Garten
Click here for the Barefoot Contessa’s Mulled Wine Recipe
4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
Zest and juice of one orange
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
Peel of 4 oranges, for garnish
Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel and serve.