Making Mulled Wine - the Easy Way

You can make very good mulled wine in only five minutes!

Have you always wanted to make mulled wine but been put off by the apparent complication? Do you think you need to buy special, expensive mulled wine spices or stir things in huge cauldrons?

Actually, the ingredients of mulled wine are among the commonest spices on the cook's shelf. There is nothing mysterious about it. And nowadays, with the microwave, it could not be easier.

This is what you need: Firstly, some dry red table wine. It must be of reasonable quality if you want good results, but it would be extravagant to use a vintage wine for mulling. Choose a decent AOC. It must be freshly opened, you cannot use left-over wine, and it should be about 10-13% alcohol. Then you need some cloves, some stick cinnamon, some natural unbleached sugar and a glass jug that is microwave-proof. It needs to be a glass pyrex-type jug as this produces the best-tasting results. Don't try to make mulled wine in a metal saucepan as it will taste awful. It is also essential to use stick cinnamon, as the powdered stuff will form a silt and ruin the drink.

Another thing to remember about making mulled wine is that you must not boil or over-heat the wine. If you do, not only will you remove all the alcohol, but you will turn the wine acid and vinegary. Nor, in my opinion, do you need orange peel which is not really an improvement. Fruit additions are more suitable for cold punch.

For two glasses of red wine, you need two heaped teaspoons of brown sugar, a stick of cinnamon about two inches long, (depending on how thick it is), and a couple of average-sized cloves. Pour the wine into the jug, add all the ingredients, and microwave it on high for one minute. Take it out, and stir it so that the sugar dissolves. Put it back in and microwave it again for another one and half minutes on high.

Take it out and stir it again. It will be steaming hot, and now it is ready to drink! Pour it into heat-proof glasses, using a strainer if you don't want bits in the glasses, and sip it appreciatively. When it is this hot, the alcohol is very volatile and just breathing in the steam may be enough to make you a little tipsy.

For larger quantities, just increase everything in proportion and give it a little longer in the microwave. Be careful never to let it come to the boil.

Just the thing at a Christmas party or on a snowy winter evening!

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