One of the greatest parts about living in the Northeast is the change of seasons. Right when you’ve gotten so sick of the winter that you think about moving to Aruba, the flowers start to bloom. When you’ve gotten your 19th sunburn and all your skin is peeling off, that crisp autumn air comes rolling in.
The change from summer to autumn is definitely my favorite. The sweaters (#sweataweatha), the leaves, the colors and the flavors. By the time mid-September rolls around, I’m ready to trade in my margarita for something warm and cozy.
Before the pandemic, nothing got me more fired up than planning a celebration. Birthdays, holidays, themed nights, Tuesdays…I can make a party out of anything. I love being festive and enjoy going all out on the little details. Of course, that means always having a perfect signature cocktail.
Mulled wine is an excellent drink for a party in the cooler months. It’s bold, aromatic and warm. You can throw everything together in a slow cooker and keep it flowing all night long. The best part is that you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry.
Start off with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir. I’ve been drinking Ritual which is a medium-bodied, fruity red from Chile. It’s very easy to drink which makes it perfect for a hot mulled wine.
From there, throw in your mulling spices.
What are mulling spices?
It can vary but if you don’t have a mulling blend, you probably have cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Some blends also have star anise or cardamom. Throw in what you have, taste test and iterate from there. Mulling spices are great for cider as well.
Once you’ve reorganized your spice cabinet (twice), toss in your brandy, orange slices and honey. Stir it up and keep it on low.
If you really want to impress, garnish with a cinnamon stick and a dried orange slice.
How to make dried orange slices
I learned this trick recently and cannot believe how easy it is. First, put your oven on as low as it’ll go – generally around 150 or 200 degrees F. Grab a few oranges (or any citrus fruit) and slice them thinly. You don’t want the slices to be transparent but the thinner the slice, the easier it’ll dry out. Lay out your slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment and bake for 2 hours or so, flipping them a few times.
Use these slices for garnish or even Christmas decor. Go wild!
For more cozy cocktails, click here.
Honey Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle of your favorite Pinot Noir I used Ritual by Veramonte Wines
- 2 Tbsp mulling spices
- 1 orange sliced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brandy
- Warm all ingredients over low heat to allow without bringing to a boil.
- Serve warm with an orange slice & cinnamon stick.