I remember when I was a kid my parents would throw these awesome holiday parties that involved lots of drinking and playing of cards, usually euchre. I always wanted to join in on the fun and play cards too, BUT lets face it – no group of adults really want to hang out with a little kid.
So I did the next best thing. I would go upstairs and look down into the living through my heater vent. (We had an old house that vents that went all the way through the floor so the hot air from downstairs would go upstairs.) So I would lay down and listen in on the whole party.
I would hear my parents telling dirty jokes (which I would then remember and tell my friends. Weirdly none of us actually got the jokes since we were 8.) and in general just having a good time with their friends.
I remembered thinking how awesome it must be to be an adult and how much I couldn’t wait to throw my own holiday parties. Well now that I’m an adult I throw my parties, but with a little less dirty jokes (ok that’s not true. I love me some dirty jokes) and a lot less cigarette smoking. What was up the all the smoking in the 80’s? But you know what remains the same? There is always spiced mulled wine.
When it’s 20 degrees outside, I need something warm and boozy. This cocktail is just that. I took a dark red wine and threw in all the winter spices – star anise, cloves, cinnamon and just a touch of nutmeg. Plus, I threw in a little citrus because citrus makes everything better. Am I right?
To keep it warm, I love keeping it in a slow cooker so it can be enjoyed warm all. night. long.
- 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 oranges, divided, one to be juiced, the other peel thinly removed (take off the peel without taking too much of the pith)
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anises, whole
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1/4-1/3 cup brandy
- orange slices, for garnish
- Add all ingredients except brandy and sliced oranges to a slow cooker. Top with the lid and place on high heat. When the mixture is hot move to the “keep warm” setting and stir in brandy.
- Serve hot with orange slices.
KitchenAid Slow Cooker