My best friend visited for four days over Thanksgiving. We watched bad movies (um, Sex and the City 2? Awful. Actually, worse than awful, if that’s possible), read stacks of books and magazines, talked, talked, and talked some more, and tried not to drive my husband too crazy (fortunately he has his wood shop to retreat to when it gets to be too much).
We tried not to be lushes the entire weekend, particularly after spending Thanksgiving Day with my friend in the wine business, but a cold and rainy afternoon of bad movie watching practically demanded a batch of mulled wine. This was the first time I’d made this particular recipe, and even after cutting the sugar in half (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sugar), the mulled wine was still a bit sweet for my taste. However, the rest of the recipe was very good. With a bottle of McKinley Springs Bombing Range Red from my frighteningly well-stocked “cellar”, we were drinking in no time at all – just in time to make an awful movie a little more entertaining.
Adapted from Gourmet, December 2002
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1/2 cup sugar (or less)
1 cup water
1 bottle dry red wine
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2 mandarin oranges, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Heat spices, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Add wine, vanilla bean, orange and lemon slices and heat for five to ten minutes or until heated through, then strain into glasses and enjoy.
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