There’s a nip in the air. The leaves on the trees are turning brilliant shades of red. And it’s time to pull the boots and sweaters from your closet.
The other sure sign of autumn is that desire to drink something warm and rich. But you don’t have to give up wine. Mulled wine captures the essence of the season.
This recipe, from Williams Sonoma, uses whole cloves, which are the dried flower buds of a tropical evergreen tree, to complement the spicy notes in red wine, while citrus gives it some zing to keep your palate fresh as you cozy up to a roaring fire.
• 12 whole cloves
• 2 nutmegs, cracked into pieces with a hammer
• 2 bottles (each 750 milliliter) dry red wine
• 1/2 cup sugar
• Stripped zest from 2 oranges and 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish
• 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 cinnamon sticks
1. Tie the cloves and nutmeg pieces in a small square of cheesecloth, or put them in a large metal tea ball.
2. In a large, non-aluminum pot, combine the wine, sugar, orange and lemon zests, orange and lemon juices, and cinnamon sticks. Add the clove-and-nutmeg bundle.
3. Heat over medium-low heat until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes; do not let it boil. Remove the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Keep the wine warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
4. Ladle the wine into cups or heatproof glasses, garnish with the citrus zest and serve warm.
Photo Credit: rpavitch