The malls are madness, all a flutter of last-minute shoppers. We're all trying to wrap up work so we can officially begin celebrating with friends and family in the coming weeks. If you're hosting guests this season my advice is to KISS (keep it simple sweetie) and enjoy yourself. Put the vintage holiday playlist on your Songza, chuck a selection of cheeses, chutneys and crackers on the prettiest platter or cutting board you own and whip up a batch of this super easy Mulled Wine recipe. This baby makes the house smell like holiday heaven and it's like a Christmas party in your mouth. This is the trifecta of hosting success; snacks, ambiance and booze.
I used a few of my favourite Lee Valley kitchen gadgets because a) I love them b) they make life easier. Everything is available at www.LeeValley.com
Homemade Mulled Wine
HANDY TOOLS - A few timesavers I used here & love. Follow the links to view full details online.
Herb and Spice Infuser $9.50, Lee Valley
Rasp & Zester Holder $26.90, Lee Valley
Lifetime Measuring Cups $24.50, Lee Valley
Zestermate $9.95, Lee Valley
INGREDIENTS - Serves 10
1 cup castor sugar (regular sugar works in a pinch)
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg for grating
2 star anise
2 bottles chianti or chianti-style wine
DIRECTIONS - Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Peel clementines, lemon and lime. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves. I used a Herb and Spice Infuser to easily remove them after. Then add about 10 gratings of nutmeg. I used the Lee Valley Rasp & Zester Holder to make it super easy. Next, stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. Make sure you have a good syrup before adding the balance of the wine or you may burn off the alcohol.
When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, spoon the warm aromatic cocktail into glasses and serve!
THE LEE VALLEY HOLIDAY CATALOGUE IS A CORNUCOPIA OF HANDY, MAKERS MOVEMENT AND DOWN RIGHT ADORABLE GIFT AND HOSTING IDEAS.
This post was sponsored by Lee Valley Tools, however I do authentically use and love all of these products!