Friday, November 21, 2014

Mulled Wine

In one of my readings, I came across a reference to Mulled Wine and I wondered if there was more to it than to heat the wine, sugar, and cinnamon.  Perhaps.  For starters, it gave me an opportunity to stock my spice rack and buy a few bottles of red wine.

I found an interesting reading about "fine" sugar.  I read that confectioner's sugar was out because it contains starch and that is not part of the mulled wine.  Another source suggested that you "pulsate" ordinary processed white sugar in a blender but cautioned that the course sugar may scratch the plastic pitcher.  It was suggested that you grind the sugar using a mortar and that worked for me. (Course sugar will melt, too.)

I love spices but I don't use them all the time.  Some say that the spices lose their potency if they sit on the shelf too long.  If that is the case, I use more of the spice, e.g. instead of one teaspoon, I may use two teaspoons.  I don't throw out the spices because some of them are rather expensive.

I have found that I like the herbs and spices in the Hispanic section in the big box stores. There seems to be a better and larger selection at less expensive prices.  They also have the spices that are most appealing to me.  The other day, I bought cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, Star anise, fennel and coriander seeds.

Oh, yes!  The mulled wine:

In a small pot I combined grated orange rind and the juice of two small Satsuma oranges (Clementines, Tangerines),  added about 1/3 cup fine sugar, a cinnamon stick, 8 - 10 whole cloves, and a dry Bay leaf.  I covered this with a little wine and let this come to a boil and then turned it down to simmer for a few minutes.

Discard the spices so that you have a smooth wine syrup.  The alcohol has been burned off and this can be stored for later when you want to add the rest of the one bottle of wine or more to heat and serve.  You do not want to burn off the alcohol, or do you?

I feel that making mulled wine is your personal choice:  use oranges, sugar, herbs, and spices that you like and use the red wine that you like and again let the alcohol cook off or not.  Drink it for the tast it.
e and enjoy.

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