Campfire Mulled Wine
By Elliot Manthey
Wine was first recorded as being spiced and heated in 1st century Rome. Roman legions brought wine with them as they conquered much of Europe. I imagine as they pushed north through France and eventually to the Scottish border temperatures dropped and warm, spiced wine would have been a great comfort on a cold night. They brought their recipes with them, and mulled wine remains a popular winter beverage in the United Kingdom this this day. History through drinking is the best.
- 2 Bottles of Merlot - Medium acidity and tannins make this a great base for additional flavors
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups tawny Port
- 3 oranges, tangerines, or clementines
- 20 whole cloves
- 2 sticks Ceylon cinnamon (and a few more sticks for garnish if you are so inclined)
- 8 star anise pods (and a few more for garnish)
- Combine all ingredients. This can absolutely be done ahead of time. However, it is important to avoid combining ingredients for too long as they may over-infuse and develop bitter and unwanted flavors. I would recommend preparing the mulled wine no more than a day in advance to heating and serving. Now go camping.
- Combine ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven and heat slowly and gently to allow the mulling spices to infuse and flavors to develop. I would recommend heating over the course of 20 to 30 minutes. Do not allow the wine to boil. Divide among glasses, garnish with a stick of cinnamon and a star anise pod if desired. Enjoy with others around the previously mentioned campfire. Cheers!
Have some fun and stick the pointy end of the whole cloves into the skin of the citrus fruit for an attractive presentation.
Ceylon cinnamon is preferred as it is far more aromatic and it has a more gentle flavor. It is often called “true cinnamon.”photo credit: Loyna Elliot Manthey is a bartender at Cafe Maude in South Minneapolis. He is a true connoisseur and craftsman of tasty beverages. When asked about punches and cocktails at the campsite he said, “Man, I have so many ideas about this…” We anticipate many more delicious recipes from Mr. Manthey. Cheers.