Gluten-Free, Vegan Mulled Wine

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My affair with mulled wine began when I studied abroad in England during the holiday season. It was perfect for cozying up in a pub with after walking the chilly, twinkle light strung streets of London!

It’s the quintessential winter toddy—a hot brew of wine, citrus, sugar, and spices. Plus booze. Sometimes lots of extra booze. ;)

Fun fact time—Mulled wine was created by the Romans as a way to warm up their bodies against the cold winters, believing the combination of heated wine and spices would promote health and avoid sickness. And I’ll be the first to admit a cup of this mulled wine will warm you right up!

Even if alcohol isn’t your scene, simmering the spices, citrus zest, and wine makes your house smell like Christmas!

It’s festive, colorful, and addicting! So fill up a cup with your friends by the fire, and toast to your health!

Note: If you’ve never been to London at Christmas, I cannot recommend it enough. The air is crisp, there are holiday festivals in the park, sales in the stores, and twinkle lights everywhere! Just remember to pack a big ole coat, scarf, and gloves.

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GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN MULLED WINE

Ingredients

  • 2 medium oranges
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamon pods
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar*
  • 2 - 3 cinnamon sticks, to preference
  • 2 (750 ml) bottles of dry red wine (like a Cabernet Sauvignon)*
  • 1/2 cup brandy (optional, but recommended)
  • An additional orange, sliced for garnish

*If you use a sweeter red wine, you’ll want to reduce the amount of sugar.

Additional Items

  • Cheesecloth or spice bag

Directions

  1. Remove the zest of the oranges and lemons in wide stripes with a vegetable peeler. Try not to peel the white pith with the zest.
  2. Place the zest strips in a large saucepan.
  3. Juice the lemons and oranges, remove the seeds, and add to the saucepan.
  4. In the center of a doubled-up square of cheesecloth, combine the cloves, cardamon, and star anise. Roll up and tightly knot, creating a small spice bundle. Then place in the saucepan. If you have a spice bag, just add the ingredients to the bag.
  5. Lastly add the water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  6. Reduce heat and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, roughly 20-25 minutes, reducing the liquid by one-third.
  7. Add the red wine and brandy (optional). Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, careful not to let it boil.
  8. Allow to simmer 10 minutes before removing from heat, discarding the spice bag, and serving. Garnish with an orange slice.
  9. Store remainder in fridge. Reheating in microwave or heating to a simmer on the stove.