If you've ever been to the Christmas markets in Germany or in your local hometown, you'll likely have encountered Glühwein, or spiced mulled wine.

During the Holidays, your senses run on overdrive. For me, mulled wine (le vin chaud (in France) or Gluhwein (in Germany)) is Christmas in a cup. It’s nostalgic and gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling – and that’s before I even consume a drop! I like my mulled wine on the spicier side, so if you want it more mild simply reduce the amount of spices you add. It’s really pretty simple – like making tea – but with wine. This recipe is done with a slow cooker; any brand of slow cooker will do. I have a Crockpot and it works very well; you leave it on low all day – go out to run your errands and come home to the smells of Christmas wafting through your halls. The magic of this recipe is the brandy – it gives it a nice kick and warmth when you add it near the end; about 30 mins before you consume it. Of course you can also leave it in there for hours and it won’t be a problem. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 L inexpensive dry red wine (I normally use a cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 10 whole cloves
  • whole nutmeg
  • 3 star anise
  • 5 cardomom pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • a sprinkling of dried orange peel
  • 6 slices of orange, cut cross-section
  • 1/2 cup of brandy

Instructions:

Put all the ingredients above (except for the brown sugar and brandy) into a crock pot and turn it on ‘high’ setting. After about an hour, turn the setting to ‘low’ and add the brown sugar. You may add more or less sugar depending on your own sweetness tolerance. This is also when you can add the brandy. Keep it on ‘low’ for another 30 mins and it will be ready to drink. You can also keep it on all day if you wish – just ensure it remains on ‘low’ or ‘warming’. Pour into cups or mugs; garnish with a new cinnamon stick, a fresh slice of orange and star anise.

*note: I like to make the spice mixture ahead of time and put it into a container for future use. This way, you can just grab a handful of the spice and throw it in the pot with the orange, cinnamon stick and brandy.

Enjoy!