(aka how to send three adults to sleep before 9 pm on a Saturday night).
As Daniel posted in his blog, I made mulled wine when we visited Serena's new decks up the coast. I've had a craving ever since I missed out on the mulled wine at Barfly (they'd sold out). They had some at the 5th Element bar, but it was $18 a glass!
This is an amalgam of a couple of online recipes - I lifted Jamie Oliver's method because it appealed to the scientist in me, but used different ingredients. Daniel doesn't like mulled wine at all, and he drank three glasses and said it was very good before he passed out.
1 bottle red wine (cab sav recommended)
60g or so sugar (I used standard white sugar)
cinnamon stick (see note re star anise)
1 orange, halved (we had a mandarin, it worked fine)
1 dried bay leaf
small piece star anise (I added this as we didn't have a whole cinnamon stick and I liked the flavour)
Handful of whole cloves
Extra tablespoon of so of sugar (I added brown)
1. Halve the orange. Stud one half with the cloves. Slice the other half thinly (I did say I mixed up two recipes, didn't I?!)
2. Put about a cup of the wine in a saucepan with the cloved half-orange, 60g sugar, and all the other flavourings. Keep the extra sugar and orange slices aside.
3. Bring to the boil. Boil until you are bored or it looks a bit syrupy. I wouldn't boil it for longer than ten minutes. As it boils, the alcohol will start to be driven off, which is why we didn't put the whole bottle in (thanks Jamie).
4. Add the rest of the wine and the orange slices and heat slowly until just simmering. Taste for sugar. I added about a tablespoon of soft brown sugar here.
5. Remove from heat, strain and serve. Turn stove to low and keep warm, or reheat before re-serving (I can't abide lukewarm mulled wine, it should be warm enough that you can't drink for inhaling the vapour).
6. Pass out on sofas.