If you’re hosting a Halloween party in the coming weeks, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got plenty of healthy tricks and treats for both kids and adults. After all, ’tis the season to be stressed beyond reason–and a good host wants nothing more than to relax her guests, while toasting to their wellness. It’s time to mull some wine.
Mulled wine, which is often thought of as a winter-holiday specific beverage, combines the health benefits of red wine, with the spirit-warming cheer of a much more indulgent holiday libation. And it’s perfect for Halloween.
Make your own mulled wine for your guests, and they’ll not only appreciate your hospitality–they’ll thank you for considering their heart health. Or, they’ll just think you throw a grea party.
- 1 bottle of dry red wine. Merlot is usually the wine of choice, but use what you like.
- 1/4 cup of honey, agave nectar, or other sweetener of your choice. You can cut this back, too, if you’d like to really be pious. You could also, in theory, use 100% apple or orange juice.
- 1/3 cup of water. Some people don’t add water, but the heating process can make the wine flavor a little intense, so adding a bit of water can open it up.
- Zest or peels from half a small lemon, and half a small orange. Cut the rest of the fruit into small slices, wash, and set aside as garnish.
- 1/4 tablespoon of each: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, and ginger.
(If you’re using loose spices, you can either use a reusable tea-bag or, a metal tea- infuser, or in a pinch, the toe of a clean pair of old nylons with the spices tied up inside. Or, you can strain the wine after you’re finished.)
- In a large saucepan, add the wine, water, and sweetener to low heat.
- Simmer until the sweetener is adequately blended in, or about 2 minutes.
- Add spices and peels. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
If you added the spices directly, strain the wine through a cheesecloth. Serve from a decorative pitcher or punch bowl.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and small orange or lemon wedge or zest. Serve in tea cups, Tom and Jerry cups, or your cheeriest mugs.