It’s that time of the year again, the chilly winds have just begun to blow, the air smells a little bit more crisp, the sun’s a little less harsh and nights have started to feel like the insides of an igloo. But the banjaara refuses to let the outside chill douse the inner fire. Here’s sharing some warmth with all you fellow wanderers in the form of a soul-warming mulled wine.
Mulled wine is essentially red wine infused with wintery spices, sweetened a wee bit, and served warm. Every household has it’s own variation depending upon who favours which flavours, and here I present to you, my humble version.
So give it a read and commence raiding your refrigerators and kitchen cabinets.
- 2 bottles of any red wine you like
- 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
- a pinch of saffron
- 4 star anise
- 1 handful of raisins
- 2 vanilla pods
- 1 tbsp whole black pepper
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (grated)
- 10 cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- Juice from 1 orange
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup lemongrass (chopped)
- Take a large open pan and pour in the bottles of red wine.
- Place over a medium flame and one by one, add all the ingredients.
- Let the wine heat until it comes to a rolling boil.
- Then reduce the flame and allow to simmer for about half an hour, stirring in between (try to avoid letting it boil a second time).
- Mulled wine tastes best when heated slowly, so patience is key.
- Once the half hour is up, strain the mulled wine and ladle it into glasses. Garnish with slices of orange and cinnamon sticks.
This mulled wine warms the soul better in good company. (These measurements should serve 4)
Depending on availability, I sometimes add in a few chopped strawberries, too. Grated cooking chocolate lends this blend more body, in my experience. Once you learn the basic version, you can experiment by infusing whatever ingredients take your fancy.
If it feels like a warm blanket lovingly wrapped around you, you’ve made it right.