Martha Dean of Ft. Myers serves mulled wine to her friends during her annual “Drink and Run” holiday event each year. Guests stop by, eat some hors d oeuvres, sip some of the concoction and leave with a small wrapped gift.
“This is my kind of drink,” she said. “Who needs something complicated? Who
wants to serve multiple types of liquor and mixers when this one fills the room with such a festive aroma? And it makes such an attractive centerpiece when surrounded with greenery, pine cones and candles.”
Mulled wine is a most festive holiday beverage. Created in the second century,
it was made by the Romans who would heat wine to keep themselves warm in cold temperatures. As they conquered Europe throughout the next century, their love for mulled wine spread across the regions. This drink is still immensely popular in Europe because it is a sweet, special beverage that can be enjoyed anywhere–in full-fledged family gatherings, small get-togethers with friends, or even alone cuddled up with a good book.
There are non-alcoholic versions of mulled wine, but this is my favorite recipe because it is so easy and friends love it.
1 orange, sliced and seeded
1 c. cranberries
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. water
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 bottle robust red wine
Splash of brandy (optional)
Rosemary for garnish
• Combine orange, cranberries, sugar, water, cloves and
cinnamon in a large stainless steel or enameled pot
• Slowly bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 min.
• Reduce heat, add wine (and optional brandy) and slowly
reheat but do not boil the alcohol out.
• Serve warm in glass mugs (optional) with rosemary as
You can also place the mixture in a slow cooker (on low)
where it will make your home smell amazing. Any leftovers
can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.