When the days are short and the evenings are cool, that’s when it’s time to indulge in rich flavours and warm spices. This recipe brings together the sweet butterscotch notes of our Dark Brown Sugar and tart cranberries along with a fragrant and delicious spice medley. Keep it local and choose a luscious Canadian red wine to complete your new go-to winter cocktail.
- 2 large oranges, washed 2 large oranges, washed
- 12 pcs whole cloves 12 pcs whole cloves
- 4 pcs star anise 4 pcs star anise
- 2 pcs dried bay leaves 2 pcs dried bay leaves
- 1 inch (6 g) ginger, peeled, thinly sliced rounds 1 inch (6 g) ginger, peeled, thinly sliced rounds
- 2 bottles (1500 ml) dry red wine (see Chef’s Tips) 2 bottles (1500 ml) dry red wine (see Chef’s Tips)
- ½ cup (125 ml) pure cranberry juice, unsweetened ½ cup (125 ml) pure cranberry juice, unsweetened
- ½ cup (109 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed ½ cup (109 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
- ⅓ cup (40 g) dried cranberries ⅓ cup (40 g) dried cranberries
- 4 pcs 3“ cinnamon sticks 4 pcs 3“ cinnamon sticks
- ¼ cup (63 ml) brandy ¼ cup (63 ml) brandy
- 1 recipe Cinnamon Sugar 1 recipe Cinnamon Sugar
- Orange slices Orange slices
- Fresh cranberries Fresh cranberries
- Cinnamon sticks Cinnamon sticks
- Fresh bay leaves (laurel leaves) or rosemary sprigs Fresh bay leaves (laurel leaves) or rosemary sprigs
- Cutting board Cutting board
- Chef’s knife OR paring knife Chef’s knife OR paring knife
- Heavy-bottomed saucepan OR Dutch oven (4 to 5 quarts) Heavy-bottomed saucepan OR Dutch oven (4 to 5 quarts)
- Vegetable peeler Vegetable peeler
- Cheesecloth OR tea filter bag Cheesecloth OR tea filter bag
- Butcher’s string Butcher’s string
- Scale OR dry measuring cups Scale OR dry measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup Liquid measuring cup
- Heat-proof rubber spatula OR wooden spoon Heat-proof rubber spatula OR wooden spoon
- Tongs Tongs
- Ladle Ladle
- Mugs Mugs
Slice one of the oranges into rounds. Place into a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the second orange and place strips into a double-layered square of cheesecloth or a tea filter bag.
Add the cloves, star anise, bay leaves, and ginger with the orange zest. Bring the corners up of the cheesecloth and tie with a piece of butcher’s string. Place into the saucepan.
Add the red wine, unsweetened cranberry juice, the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, dried cranberries, and cinnamon sticks. Stir to combine and place over medium heat until the mixture begins to steam and just begins to simmer; do not boil. Stir in the brandy, cover, and reduce the heat to low and heat for 25 to 30 minutes to allow the flavours to blend.
Remove the spice sachet with a pair of tongs (see Chef’s Tips).
Rim the mugs with any version of our Cinnamon Sugars recipe. First, run an orange wedge around the rim of each glass to moisten. Then dip rims into the cinnamon sugar and twist back and forth to coat.
Ladle the mulled wine into heat-proof mugs. Garnish with additional orange slices, fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and/or fresh bay leaves (laurel leaves) or rosemary sprigs.
*For mulled wine, use bold or medium-bodied, dry red wines that are low in tannins and are of the unoaked variety, otherwise they will become bitter when heated. Wines that will work in this recipe include but are not limited to Zinfandel, Grenache/Garnacha, Malbec, and Merlot.
*Taste the mulled wine before removing the spice sachet. If desired, keep the sachet in the wine for an additional 10 minutes to allow more of the spice flavours to infuse into the wine. If not consumed immediately, and the wine is being kept warm on the stove, remove orange slices and cinnamon sticks which may make the drink bitter after sitting in the heated wine for too long.
*Slow-cooker method: same method as above, except place ingredients into a slow-cooker on the low setting. Heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and discard spice sachet, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks. Stir in the brandy. Keep warm using the warm setting on the slow-cooker.
*Store any leftovers covered or in an airtight container, preferably glass, for up to 4 days in the fridge. Ensure mulled wine is cooled before placing it into the fridge. To reheat, pour contents into a saucepan and reheat on medium-low until steaming. Alternatively, the mulled wine can be consumed chilled.
*Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, or Simply RawTM Turbinado Sugar can be substituted for the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar. Note that the flavours of using either of these sugars will reduce the complex, earthy, caramel undertone that the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar brings to this drink. The colour will also be lighter, especially if using turbinado sugar.