I like wine in all forms. Red or white. Chilled or room temperature. Frizzante or still. Boxed or bottled. Cheap or inexpensive (sorry, I won't shell out an arm and a leg for wine). But I had never had warm wine until we started going to the Christmas markets in Italy, where everyone is sipping on mulled wine — they call it glühwein in Germany, or vin brulè in Italy.
Italians love their wine, and they don't make exceptions for their mulled wine. The traditional version is the red vin brulè, but I was most intrigued (and drank the most of) the white version, which they served with amaretto and apple. And once we got home, I was dying to replicate the recipe myself.
I whipped up a big batch for a holiday party we had at our place in a big pot and all that was left at the end of it was remnants of cinnamon sticks and star anise. People were very skeptical at first — warm wine?! But it was a big hit and a great cozy drink for a winter party. Make a small batch for yourself and curl up with a mug on the couch under an electric blanket (because duh), or whip up a batch for a group of friends to fuel the animosity as you play board games like Cards Against Humanity.
- Two bottles white wine (I recommend chardonnay or pinot grigio, or something low in acidity and semi-sweet)
- 2 1/2 cups amaretto
- 1/2 gallon cider
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 5 star anise pods
- Dash of cloves
- Peel from one orange.
- Slice peel off an orange in strips with a potato peeler. Put the orange, amaretto, cider, cinnamon, pods and cloves in a large pot and turn the burner on medium-high.
- Once liquid is simmering, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the wine and keep heat on medium-low.
- Serve liquid in a ladel while warm. Enjoy! Note: Can be made ahead, just take the spices out before storing in the refrigerator so it doesn't overpower the liquid.
Photos and text © Katie Currid 2014.