mulled wine

4 shakes nutmeg
ground (or grated)
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 whole clementines
zest peeled with veggie peeler
1 whole lemon
same as above
1 whole lime
same as above
6 whole cloves
1 whole cinnamon stick
7 whole cardamom pods
4 whole bay leaves
1 whole vanilla bean
cut lengthwise
2 whole star anise
2 bottles red wine
I usually use a shiraz, or sometimes a really cheap cab
brandy or Gran Marnier (or both!)
to taste/effect
  • saucepan
Breezy days and cooler nights call for spirits to warm your spirits! This recipe has evolved over the years, but still, nothing says "fall" to me like a yummy mug or two of mulled wine.

I never measure anything, and usually change my mind based on what smells good at the moment, so please feel free to adjust any and all quantities to your liking.
Combine cider, sugar, clementines, citrus, and spices in a saucepan and bring to a slow boil.
Continue stirring until liquid is syrupy. At this point, my whole house smells like heaven.
Reduce the heat and add the wine (& booze, should you chooze.) Warm slowly, heating too much will burn off the alcohol!
Enjoy in mugs (or red solo cups, in true Harvest Party fashion ...) with orange slices as a garnish. Stud your orange slices with whole cloves if you're feeling extra fancy.
source: Inspiration from Felicity Cloake's recipe from
Last year a friend of mine pointed me to the Oaktown Spice Shop. That place is AMAZING! And they often have broken spices for discount prices. Who cares if your star anise is in 2 or 3 pieces? The owner is incredibly helpful, and even had me smell 3 different vanilla beans before making my selection. Highly recommended if you're in the East Bay.