As the holidays approach, I know that I’m not alone in finding my list of to-dos growing rather than shrinking. Between office and school parties, gift shopping and wrapping, dinner and drinks with friends, hosting your own festive gathering may seem like a chore. I’m exhausted just thinking about all there is to do, so I’m having a very minimalist moment - from packing suitcases to decorating, simplicity is key. Small touches can go a long way.
A nice mulled wine is an easy treat that can be made with items which you may already have in your fruit basket, on your spice rack, and in your wine cellar (or, in my case, at the bottom of a closet).
IMHO this year calls for a seasonal yet simple beverage. Cinnamon, oranges, cloves - all those wintery scents combine in this tasty mulled wine - perfect for a crowd, that doesn’t require repetitive measuring, pouring and shaking. Mulled wine can be made a few hours beforehand and rewarmed when ready to serve.
This mulled wine can be made without any added sugars or store bought fruit juice. It is a guilt-free crowd pleaser. The oils of the lemon and orange peel go a long way and add subtle citrus notes that do not overpower. The cinnamon, cardamom and cloves are the perfect wintery trio.
Crunchy Radish Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle of dry red wine - I used Merlot
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cardamom pods
- 5-8 cloves
- 2 oranges, peeled and juiced, peel reserved
- 1 lemon, peeled and sliced, peel reserved
- 1/2 pomegranate, seeded
- 1 apple, cored and sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Garnishes - citrus peel and cinnamon sticks
- Combine the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange juice, orange peel, lemon, lemon peel, pomegranate seeds, apple, and honey into a pot over low heat. Cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove cover and bring to a boil, stiring frequently.
- Lower heat, add the wine, and gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not boil.
- When ready to serve, use a colander or slotted spoon to separate and discard fruit and spices.
- Ladle wine into mugs or glasses and garnish with fresh cinnamon sticks and orange peel.
Looking for some chipotle maple nuts to go with your mulled wine? Catch the recipe here.