Inverno Arancione


"Spiced mulled cocktails are what I crave when I want to relax in the colder months," says Amy Brandwein of Centrolina in Washington, D.C. "Red wine is usually the base, but Centrolina Wine Director Alissa Diaz developed this cocktail using Pinot Grigio to focus on citrus and ginger—it almost plays off the flavors of a classic panettone, which is a winter specialty in Italian culture."

Inverno Arancione
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
4 to 6


  • 3 large oranges

  • 1 small lemon, plus lemon wedges for rims of glasses

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise, and smashed

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 (750-milliliter) bottles dry Pinot Grigio

  • 5 whole star anise

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch of kosher salt


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove peel in wide strips from 2 oranges and from half of the lemon. Juice lemon to equal 2 tablespoons juice; set juice aside.

  2. Heat orange peels, lemon peels, ginger, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom and sides of pan constantly with a wooden spoon, until sugar crystallizes and turns golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. (The sugar will melt and then crystallize, forming small pebbles.) Slowly stir in 1 bottle of wine. Slowly stir in second bottle of wine; add star anise, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, and reserved 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and bring mixture to a vigorous simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let mixture steep 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, grate remaining orange to equal 1 packed tablespoon grated zest. Combine orange zest, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Using the back of a spoon, stir and crush mixture until mixture is fragrant and has an orange tint; set aside.

  4. Return pan to heat over medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 4 minutes. Pour wine mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl; discard solids.

  5. Rub rims of heatproof glasses or mugs with a lemon wedge; dip rims of glasses into orange zest–sugar mixture. Carefully ladle mulled wine into glasses, and serve warm.

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