There are several appropriate responses to what seems like the coldest week EVER, and mulled wine is one of them. This recipe is not too sweet (you can even reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup if you like), and it’s flavored with lots of spices, plus burnt raisins and rosemary. If you are missing any of the ingredients, though, you can omit them or sub in something else—add allspice berries, ginger root, etc.—and it will likely still be delicious! Just don’t heat the wine for too long because the alcohol will cook off, and what help will that be against the cold weather?
Mulled Wine with Burnt Raisins, Cardamom, & Rosemary
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 5 whole star anise pods
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 3 small sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1/2 orange, sliced into thin circles, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 cup ruby port
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 6 dashes orange bitters
- Heat a large, nonreactive pot, over medium heat for one to two minutes, until hot. Add the raisins and cook, shaken the pot often, until raisins are well browned, beginning to puff up, and smelling slightly burned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the water, sugar, spices, rosemary, and orange slices. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the wine, port, brandy, and bitters, and heat until hot but not bubbling. Strain out all of the spices, etc, reserving the raisins for a boozy treat in your morning oatmeal on an especially cold morning. Serve the wine hot, and garnish with extra rosemary and orange slices if you like.