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The following mulled wine recipe comes from HOMEGROWN’s flock tender, Jennifer, a big fan of both meanings of the verb “to mull.”

 

I tend to be fairly vocal when it comes to my feelings about winter: I’m not a fan. Unfortunately, I live in a place where it lasts for six months. Fortunately, I love pretty much everything else about my environment—and a steaming mug of booze goes a long way toward addressing the weather.

 

Although I’m not much of a mixologist, I got pretty good at making mulled wine last year, and I’m looking forward to more nights in front of the fire with good friends and hot adult beverages. I use Ina Garten’s recipe as my guide, which includes two unexpected but totally crucial ingredients: cider and honey. In the photos below, I was making a double batch last Christmas for visiting family, hence the extra spices. Not to mention the two bottles of wine.

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Makes about 8 servings

 

» 4 cups apple cider (Local, if possible!)

» 1 bottle red wine (Inexpensive is fine, especially since you’ll be adding so many ingredients to it. I like Garnachas and Malbecs, but if you're lucky enough to be in a wine-growing region, go for something sustainable and HOMEGROWN!)

» ¼ cup honey (also local)

» 2 cinnamon sticks

» 1 orange

» 4 whole cloves

» 3 whole star anise

» cheesecloth

 

WHAT TO DO

1. Juice and zest the orange then add both results, plus the cider, wine, and honey, in a large stockpot and bring it to a boil.

 

2. Meanwhile, place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise in cheesecloth, tie it into a sachet, and drop it into the pot.

 

3. As soon as the pot reaches a boil, immediately turn it down to the barest of simmers and heat, stirring infrequently, 10 to 15 minutes. (For a low-booze version, leaving the heat up longer will cook off more of the alcohol.)

 

4. Ladle the mulled wine into mugs then turn the heat down to low to keep the leftovers—if any; but why would there be?—warm. Cheers!

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Got a twist on the mulled wine recipe above? Post it below and keep the conversation rolling! You might also be interested in 101s on making your own green tomato wine, mead, coffee liqueur (think Kahlúa), margaritas, chai tea concentrate, cold-brew coffee, and on roasting your own coffee beans. If you’re looking for something to dip in that mulled wine, check out 101s on biscotti, cronuts, and cultured butter cookies. And if you’ve got more apple cider than you know what to do with, you might try making apple cider caramels. You can always find more things to cook, preserve, make, craft, plant, grow, and simmer in the HOMEGROWN 101 library.

ALL PHOTOS: JENNIFER

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Hi guys!  Half the fun off drinking mulled wine is the little buzz that accompanies it!  So, boiling said wine would eliminate the alcohol.  True?

Ah! I'm so glad you asked this. I haven't made this since last winter, and I think the ensuing months left some cobwebs in my memory! You should bring it to a boil then immediately turn it down to the lightest of simmers. I'll tweak the text above. And thanks so much for the excellent question! You saved us all from drinking mulled no-booze! 

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