Varied as sangria recipes, red or white mulled wine is wine heated gently with autumn spices, additional fruits and often topped with a brandy. Sometimes called Wassail, it refers either to mulled wine or mulled cider and is a throwback to earlier times and a celebration of a good harvest, cooler weather and expectations for fun times and great holidays. Mulled mixtures slowly infuse over a slow heat either strained and served or allowed to keep infusing overnight.
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa’s, recipe combines apple cider with a red or Cabernet Sauvignon, then she adds honey, cinnamon sticks, an orange, cloves and anise.
Epicurious has a mulled wine recipe which calls for a dry red wine such as Cotes du Rhone flavored with cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cloves, a vanilla bean, orange and lemon.
Over in the UK, Jamie Oliver gathers Clementine oranges, peel from a lemon and a lime, cloves, a cinnamon stick, bay leaves, nutmeg, vanilla pod and star anise. He uses these to dress up Chianti or an Italian red wine.
Imbibe Magazine dresses a bottle of inexpensive red wine with cinnamon, cloves, gingerroot, nutmeg, cardamom, orange zest, brandy and lemon.
A mulled cider or non-alcoholic punch, is based with apple cider and simmered with cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, cloves and other desired spices.