It’s a tradition on the Hansen side of my family to have a wintertime mulled wine party. My mother-in-law brews up a big vat of mulled wine along with hot chocolate and hot tea and my father-in-law builds a big campfire in a pretty clearing next to Indian Creek, near their house. Fixings for s’mores are, of course, mandatory.
Lots of friends and family come to the party, which this year was unseasonably warm. We’ve mulled wine in much colder weather and drank it while shivering and standing in ankle-deep snow before, so not even having to wear a winter coat this year was a welcome change.
I share a recipe at the end of this post that’s similar to Sally’s recipe. A big batch would be a great way to ring in the New Year.
Mulled Wine, via Epicurious
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom pods
3 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine such as Côtes du Rhône
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 small orange, thinly sliced
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
Special equipment: a 6- by 4-inch piece of cheesecloth; kitchen string
Wrap cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves in cheesecloth and tie with string. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 5-quart heavy pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then add spice bag, wine, vanilla bean, and fruit. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.