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Mulled wine

It's so cold in London these days that it sometimes seems it will never get warmer. What better way to make the cold go away than with some mulled wine?

It actually turned out so well I figured I'd share the recipe. This will make 2 cups of about 240ml each (roughly 1 pint?).

1 pint red wine
2 whole cloves
1/2 stick of cinnamon
sugar or honey, to taste
black peppercorns (2-3)

Pour the wine in a suitable recipient.

Add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns.

Put on the hob. Start mixing in the sugar, one teaspoon at the time. Add one teaspoon, then stir (at the same time, the wine will get warmer). Make sure to taste it often - add as much sugar as you want. I didn't add measurements because I find they depend on a variety of things, including but not limited to sugar type, wine type, day of the week, outside temperature and so on. You get my drift :)

When you're happy with sugar levels, stay near the wine and keep stirring every once in a while. Wine tends to swell up a lot when it reaches the boiling point, so you want to be around to prevent a messy kitchen. After a while, the pot will start foaming up. This is good.

When it's boiling (or very close to it) take it off the heat. Pour it in cups. Serve immediately!

1. White wine also works if you prefer it that way. I personally like to buy dark dark reds. Think Cabernet or similar.
2. I buy relatively cheap wine (under 5GBP/bottle) for this. I will generally look for half price or similar offers that will take a wine to 4ish pounds. I've heard people say that better wine makes better mulled wine, but so much of the wine itself is lost with boiling and adding spices that I can't bring myself to do it.
3. Honey tends to be sweeter (at least in my opionion). I generally put in less honey than sugar.
4. Most recipes I saw in books call for lemon zest and bits of fruit. For me, this is the mark of bought mulled wine - I don't like the bits at all. Your mileage may vary though.
5. Instead of black peppercorns, I used something called "long pepper"  this time around, which I picked up from New York. I quite like it, the aroma it gives is more subtle than using just normal peppercorn.


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