The first time that I ever experienced Vin Brulee’ aka Mulled Wine was in the Italian Alps. This has been quite a few years ago now, but I totally remember that experience, and realizing how much better it was then hot cocoa after a day of skiing. Well hello, its got wine in it, these Italians know what they are doing. Does everything they make have to taste so damn good? I really love this warm spiced wine around the holidays. Those of you in Colorado I dare you the next snowy evening to give this a try. I have Grand Marnier in this one, but also give Brandy or Bourbon a try.
In European countries also referred to as Gluhwein, Glogg and Vin Brule’
Serves 4 – 6
1 – 750 ml bottle of dry red wine
2 – oranges (save one for garnish)
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (more if you would like to use as garnish)
2 star anise
1 sprig of rosemary
3 -4 tablespoons sugar (honey, maple, agave )
1/4 cup liquor ( Brandy, Grand Marnier, Whiskey, Bourbon )
In a large sauce pan combine wine, slices of one orange, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, sweetener and liquor of your choice. Stir to combine.
Cook on a medium heat, just barely simmering. Avoid boiling or big bubbles, you do not want to boil off the alcohol. Reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Let simmer 15 – 20 minutes.
Strain the liquid, serve warm in a heat proof mug with an orange slice and cinnamon stick for garnish. Also some fresh cranberries add a nice touch and some color.