Monday, December 06, 2010

Recipe 24: Slow Cooker Hot Mulled Wine

This mulled wine recipe is fast becoming my favorite holiday party cocktail to bring to cold-weather potlucks and parties-- steaming hot and bursting with citrus and sweet spice aromas, it's absolutely heavenly to sip on over a chilly night while everyone mix 'n mingle.

And the best part is that prep work is minimal and guests can serve themselves, so you can enjoy the party too rather than obsess about mixing and refreshing drinks. That is until the entire batch disappeared in 30 minutes (which is what happened @ the soiree I brought it to.)

Here's my recipe (adapted from Epicurious' version) that makes about eight five-ounce servings:

1 bottle dry red wine (I used Old Moon Zinfandel from Trader Joe's, retailed for $3.99)
2 lemons, sliced into wheels
1 orange, sliced into half-wheels
1-2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise pods
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
3 ounces orange liqueuer (optional, I used Grand Marnier)

1. Prepare the spiced syrup (can be done the night before) by bringing the water to a simmer, then add the sugar, vanilla extract & the ground allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper - stir until sugar is dissolved.
2. Turn on a six-quart slow cooker to the HIGH setting, and combine the spiced syrup with the bottle of red wine, citrus slices, cinnamon sticks & star anise pods. Give it a quick stir, then cover it and let it sit for about an hour (or when it starts to simmer.)
3. Bring the slow cooker down to a LOW or WARM setting, add the orange liqueur and the mulled wine is ready to serve! (Also, the wine-soaked fruit is absolutely tasty to nibble on!)

And for all those designated drivers and others who'd rather not get spirited away -- I'd imagine this formula to be delightful for a spiced cider too. Just use 25 ounces apple juice or cider in lieu of the red wine -- and of course, no liqueur. Cheers!


gourmetpigs said...

Ooh, this would be good for my bday party (which you're coming to, right?!)

Oh wait, I don't have a slow cooker .. nvm ..

Banana Wonder said...

I love, love, love mulled red wine! I just got some mix from a bag but now you've made me feel like a cheat!

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend keeps talking about making mulled wine in my slow cooker. Maybe it's time to give it a shot with this recipe.

Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves said...

I think I'll make this for my upcoming party...gotta love the slow cooker!

H. C. said...

@Gourmetpigs, just wait till Friday!

@Anna, haha I was totally on the lookout for a bagged mix too, but alas, couldn't find it so might as well make one from scratch

@PolicyP, let me know how it turns out for you

@Bianca, looking forward to hearing about how it turned out!

Kai said...

I introduced my co-workers to mulled wine yesterday. They loved it. ^___^ I think that the orange liqueur really adds in that special something.


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