- One 750-milliliter bottle red wine (claret is a traditional selection)
- 1/4 Cup brandy
- 1 orange, its peel zested in strips, its juice reserved
- 1/8 Cup honey
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise
Combine all the ingredients in a non-aluminum (preferably enameled) saucepan, and warm over medium-high heat, watching carefully — you do not want to allow the mixture to boil, only warm until steam begins to evaporate. Reduce the heat to low, and continue warm (without allowing the mulled wine to simmer), for at least 20 minutes. Strain if you desire — although the bits of floating spices can be a nice touch in the glass — and serve quickly.