Sandra's Mulled Wine
- 1 (750-ml) bottle of your favorite dry red wine
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice mix
- 1 (3-inch) piece orange peel
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/3 cup fresh raisins or dried currants
- 6 ounces vodka
- 8 ounces brandy or Madeira
- 1/2 cup blanched, whole or slivered almonds
- Long cinnamon sticks, for stirring
Over medium-low heat, pour entire bottle of red wine into a pot. Be sure not to raise the temperature too much, otherwise the alcohol will burn off and the sugars will scorch. Stir in the sugar and continue to stir until it has dissolved, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, apple pie spice mix, orange peel, fresh ginger and raisins. Allow mixture to steep for 10 minutes.
Check by stirring once in a while. When the wine starts to move a bit slower and becomes a little syrupy, pour in the vodka and brandy. Continue to steep for 5 to 7 minutes
Lay 3 to 4 almonds into the bottom of the serving glasses or mugs. If you are pouring the hot drink into glass, be sure to have a metal spoon resting inside the vessel. It will conduct the heat away from the glass so that won't crack. Using your ladle, pour the drink through the sieve (tea strainer) into the glasses. Garnish with a long cinnamon stick.
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