Mulled Wine

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

(3) 3-inch cinnamon sticks
10 DLM Whole Cloves
10 DLM Black Peppercorns
1 tsp DLM Whole Allspice
2 bottles medium-full-bodied red wine
Zest from 1 orange, removed with vegetable peeler, cleaned of any white pith
1/2 cup sugar

Toast cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice in a medium, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine, orange zest, and sugar; cover partially and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer one hour until wine is infused. Do not boil. Strain wine through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth; discard zest and spices. Ladle wine into warmed wine glasses or mugs; serve immediately.

Do not simmer for more than an hour or the flavor will deteriorate. Covered, off heat, it will remain fairly hot for about 30 minutes, or place in a thermal carafe for serving all evening. Leftover mulled wine can be reheated in the microwave.

Makes 8 servings