I’m not a huge fan of cold temperatures (though as I get older I’m finding that I can tolerate heat less and less; I guess this just means I’d be happy with a year-round 72-degrees.), but I am a fan of some of the things that typically accompany the season: gray skies streaked with lavender and mauve, brown and red and gold leaves covering the ground and flying through blustery winds, flannel sheets, the smell of woodsmoke, and hot beverages in mugs. Kel and I are not big alcohol drinkers, but certain times and occasions call for something other than water. To inspire a little holiday cheer in our home, I brewed up a big batch of mulled wine, which we enjoyed over the week leading up to Christmas. A mugful was a great way to treat ourselves after working outside in the cold and it filled out little hearts with hygge. While this drink is ideal for the fall/winter holidays, it’s appropriate right through January and February when a little extra comfort is welcome.
Made in the slow cooker (though you could make it on the stove top as well), the flavors from citrus peel, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cider and red wine gently meld for a sophisticated, cozy beverage. I use NuNaturals NuStevia Simple Syrup in place of the more traditional refined sugar or honey – but of course you can sweeten this however you like. Check out Barnivore for a list of vegan wines.
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 bottle vegan red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon NuNaturals NuStevia Simple Syrup or your favorite sweetener, to taste
- 2" peel from lime
- 2" peel from orange
- 2" peel from lemon
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and set to High. Cook for 2-3 hours. Serve warm.
- Store leftover wine in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.