Have you ever tried mulled wine? I learned to love it when I was living in Austria where it’s traditionally served in winter months and especially around Christmas. When you are sitting by the Christmas Tree with the Christmas lights on and the candles burning, nothing beats the aroma of spices and the taste of Mulled Wine.
Today, I am sharing with you a non-alcoholic version – Cranberry Punch as well as an alcoholic version prepared with red wine.
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 4 cups water
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 anise star
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- juice of 1 orange
- 2 Tbsp agave nectar
- a few drops of orange extract (optional)
- 2 cups dry red wine (for Mulled Wine)
- Wash the cranberries and remove any that are soft. Put the cranberries in a medium saucepan. Add the water, cloves, anise star and cinnamon sticks. Cover and heat on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes. Don’t boil the mixture but make sure it’s hot enough for cranberries to start popping. Turn off the heat.
- Using a spoon, press the cranberries to release more of the juice. Let the mixture stand on the hot stove for about 10 more minutes to allow flavors to blend.
- Strain the mixture to remove the cranberries and spices. (If you are making Mulled Wine, you can put the cinnamon sticks back into the mixture).
- Add the orange juice, a few drops of orange extract and agave nectar. Mix well.
- If you are making Cranberry Punch, warm up the punch one more time (but don’t boil it) and you are done!
- If you are making Mulled Wine, add the red wine and warm up the mixture, turning the heat off just before it starts to boil.
- Serve hot.