2 bottles of dry red wine
2nbottles of ruby port
Zest of one whole navel orange, peeled with a vegetable peeler
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup blanched, sliced almonds
5 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
12 cardamom pods, cracked (use the flat end of a knife)
12 black peppercorns
1 to 2 star anise
One 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch coins
2 cups brandy, divided, plus more to taste
1 to 2 cups sugar

In a nonreactive pan, heat the wine, port, zest, raisins, nuts, spices, and ginger over medium-low heat until simmering, then lower the heat and cover. In another nonreactive pan, heat 1 cup of the sugar and 1 cup of the brandy. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Combine the syrup with the mulled wine and add another cup of brandy. Allow to simmer for an hour, then taste for sugar and brandy adding more of either if necessary. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then strain and bottle — or enjoy immediately!

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