Mulled wine is such a fantastic party drink! Fill your slow cooker with a few bottles of red, some fresh orange, cinnamon, and a touch of sugar and you have a warm, belly-filling drink for the adults!
It's day three hundred and twenty-nine, and it's my birthday.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year. It's been a total trip.
Last Friday, Adam called and said that he invited a bunch of friends over to celebrate my birthday.
He told me not to ask questions but that they were coming, and that he'd handle it all. It's a good thing our house is always thirty-minutes-away from being company-ready.
I put on a crab dip, and this mulled wine for our friends. I had fun fiddling in the kitchen, and the kids went to town making decorations.
When everyone was settled and had some of the mulled wine (quite enjoyable!) Adam laid out his surprise: he was dropping the six ladies off at a restaurant and the boys were going to watch all of the kids.
My friends were in on it, and we all piled into the mini van. When we got to the restaurant, a table was waiting piled with appetizers and champagne.
Wow. The night couldn't have been any better. Thank you Adam, and thank you so much to Jennifer, Karen, Claudia, Nancy, and Carol. I love you all so much.
And now I'm crying. Again.
2 bottles dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
2 more oranges (one to float on top, and one for garnish wedges)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
Serves 6-8 (sort of. it really depends if you want your guests to have a taste, or a bunch. I'll double this next time.)
I used a 6 quart crockpot.
Open the wine. This was really very hard for me. I need one of those fancy wine opener thingies.
It seriously took a good twenty minutes for me to open one of the bottles, and I got all sweaty and frustrated. ugh.
Squeeze the oranges to get 1 cup of juice. I'm sure you could get away with using store-bought juice, but the pulp floating around is what's kind of neat about mulled wine; it's more rustic this way.
And oranges are in season.
Stir in the sugar, and add the ground spices. Float the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves on top. Slice one of the oranges in rings, and float the rings on top.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or on low for 4.
You want the wine to get as hot as a traditional hot beverage.
Ladle into mugs, and serve with a fresh orange wedge.
When serving, leave the lid off and the crockpot on "low."
I liked this much more than I thought I would, and look forward to making it again. I will on Thanksgiving.
I like that you can use terribly cheap wine
(Adam went shopping the night before and Trader Joe's was already closed, but this is a great use for 2 Buck Chuck---although he assures me that the Sutter Home was on sale for $3.99)
and still wow even the toughest wine snob.