Mulled Red Wine with Muscovado Sugar

Faced with two half-empty bottles of Zinfandel, F&W Test Kitchen supervisor Marcia Kiesel came up with this warm mulled wine, spiced with fennel seeds and cinnamon.


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  • Two 750-milliliter bottles (or the equivalent) fruity red wine, such as Zinfandel or Merlot
  • Zest strips from 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 cups muscovado sugar or other dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed

How to make this recipe

  1. Put the peppercorns, fennel seeds and cinnamon in a large tea ball or wrap them in cheesecloth and secure them with kitchen string. In a large saucepan, combine the aromatics with the wine, bay leaves and orange zest. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the aromatics and orange zest strips. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Serve warm, in glasses or mugs.

Make Ahead

Once cooled, the mulled wine can be poured into a pitcher and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.

Contributed By Photo © Terry Monk Published November 2009

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