Snow storm? Make mulled wine

I drove out to Zion National Park to spend a weekend hiking with friends, but our athletic plans went astray after the fourth largest snowfall since 1904 slammed the region. The snow just kept climbing–8.5 inches in total–and I felt like I was living in a snow globe!

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To warm up in this winter wonderland, I decided to make mulled wine. I’ve had a special place in my heart for the cozy beverage ever since I visited Prague, where you can buy mulled wine from street carts and then stroll through a park. I’ll never forget the night I went to a bar in Prague and ordered mulled wine. The bartender just laughed. They said it was like me ordering coffee at a dive bar in the U.S. I switched my order to Pilsner, but the next day I made sure to get mulled wine from a street vendor!

My take is pretty traditional: red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Beaujolais), orange, honey, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves and brandy. We were missing a few of the ingredients, so I had to whip up a little variation, but it came out great.

Too bad we each could only have about a quarter of a mug since I spilled a little wine as I was trying to snap a photo of the pour, whoops, and we only had one bottle left -_-

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Don’t worry, I’ll tell you about the mile trek in the snow that piled almost as high as my knees to get more wine in an upcoming post.

Without further adieu, here’s how I made this crowd-pleaser:

-Poured a bottle of red wine in a big pot, much like the kind you’d used to boil Spaghetti. I used Three Wishes Cabernet Sauvignon (You can buy it at Whole Foods for $2.99). I wouldn’t buy the other Three Wishes’ varietals Merlot and Chardonnay, but the Cab is passable, especially if you’re going to use it as a mixer).

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-Cut up a whole orange and added it to the pot, peels and all

-Poured in a third of a cup of Crown Royal…it was that or Johnny Walker Black and I thought the former would be sweeter.

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-Added 1/8 of a cup of Agave Sweetener. We didn’t have honey and I’d usually double that portion if we did, but Agave can be sweeter than honey.

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-Tapped in two teaspoons of ground ginger and a teaspoon of nutmeg. We didn’t have cinnamon sticks, so I added three teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

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-Heated it on medium/low for 20 minutes. You want it to get hot, but not boil.

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Voila!

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