Did you read "sent invitations smelling of mulled spice to lure guests to a ranch weekend bash" at the end of our post yesterday? The same would easily apply to a holiday affair!
I'll admit, I've tried mulled wine before, and I didn't care for it. Warm wine...not my thing...until this last weekend!
A former Fairy Godmother was in town from Ireland, and several of us went to tour some of the Texas Hill Country Vineyards and Wineries. Texas Hills Vineyard had some mulled wine in a small crockpot by the register and gave us a sample. It smelled like "Christmas in a glass!" It tasted incredible, too! The ones we bought to share with family in 3 weeks may not last that long in our homes, because we have another cold front coming on Sunday.
Here is the Fairy Godmother version!
Fairy Godmother Mulled Wine
1 t. whole cloves
2 T. dried orange peel
3 three inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 t. allspice berries
Place above ingredients in a tea ball or seasoning bag made for steeping
In a crockpot on "Keep Warm" or "Low", place the following:
1 bottle of red wine (white may also be used, but red is our preference)
1/2 bottle of water
1/4 - 1/2 C brown sugar (to taste)
Mulling spices in tea ball.
(You can use the same amount of mulling spices for up to 3 bottles of wine. Just remember to add the water and sugar as well.)
Bring the mixture to a very gentle simmer over low heat.
Do NOT let it boil; this can cause spices to turn bitter.
To really allow the flavors of the spices to infuse into the beverage, you should allow the mixture to simmer on the stovetop for at least half an hour.
It's fine to keep the pot warm for several hours, allowing everyone to sip holiday cheer throughout the night. Ladle into mugs (glass toddy mugs / Irish coffe mugs are perfect and still pretty) and serve, garnished with a cinnamon stick.