2 large oranges
1-liter red wine
¼ cups brandy
½ tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
3 cardamon pods, slightly crushed
1. Use one orange and cut into rounds, place the rounds into a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Using the second orange, peel the skin with a peeler, and set aside for garnish later. Cut the skinned orange in half and squeeze the juice into the pot.
2. Pour the wine into the pot, followed by the brandy. Add 1 tablespoon of the sweetener for now. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves.
3. Warm the mixture over medium heat until steaming (about 5 minutes) and keep an eye on it. When you start seeing the tiniest of bubbles at the surface, reduce the heat to the lowest of low.
4. Carefully taste, then add another tablespoon of sweetener if it’s not sweet enough for your liking. If you want it spicier , continue cooking over very low heat for 5 to 10 more minutes.
5. Serve in mugs with orange peel and any other garnish of choice. We love whole cinnamon sticks!
6. If you expect to polish off the mulled wine within 20 minutes or so, you can keep it on the stove over extra-low heat (it will become spicier with time). Otherwise, remove it from the heat, cover, and rewarm over low heat if necessary.