Mull over it

If there’s one thing fiance has talked about ad nauseum it’s the mulled wine reception my cousin had at her wedding three years ago. It was our first mulled experience, and from that moment forward, fiance has had his mind set on having one at our wedding. 
In the spirit of Christmas, last weekend we were entertaining and I gave Jamie Oliver’s mulled wine recipe a shot, and it was gorgeous. We’ve had pre-made mulled wine from both bottles and saches before, but once we tried this recipe, we’re never going back. 
I would definitely recommend making a batch or two of this stuff to kick you into the Christmas spirit. It will warm the deepest, crankiest, most Grinchiest parts of anyone. Bottoms up!
Image found via Berlin-Pedia

2 clementines
Peel of one lemon
Peel of one lime
250g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg {I used 1 teaspoon of dried nutmeg}
1 whole vanilla pod, halved {again, I used 1 tablespoon}
2 star anise
2 bottles of Chianti or other Italian red {we had just one}

Peel large sections from your citrus fruits using a peeler. Put the sugar in a large pot over a medium heat, add the citrus peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and 10-12 gratings of nutmeg. Add your vanilla, and add just enough wine to cover the sugar. Allow this to simmer until all the sugar has dissolved in the wine. Bring to the boil and leave there until you have a lovely thick syrup – this is a great tip Jamie gives – by making the syrup in this way and bringing to the boil before you add all the wine creates a great flavor. But if you do this with both bottles of wine in the mix, you’ll cook off all the alcohol. We don’t want that, do we?

When the syrup is ready add the star anise and the two bottles of wine. Gently warm the wine for around five minutes, then ladle into glasses to serve. 
Thanks to Jamie for the scrumptious recipe! I think my fiance may run away with him. 

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