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What to Do With Leftover Wine: Mulled Wine Syrup

Did you wake up on New Year's morning swearing off the sauce forever? Do you have more half-empty bottles of vino than you know what to do with? Here's a way to repurpose the plonk, without the pain.

Wine that's been sitting out is fine for mulled wine syrup; cheap wine is perfect. You can even use a mix of varietals and vintages, and you'll never know the difference. Spiced with cinnamon and cloves, this garnet-colored syrup can be drizzled over ice cream, poured on pancakes, and folded into thick, full-cream yogurt. My favorite way to serve it is over chilled orange segments, pith removed.

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The recipe calls for one bottle of red wine, but it's easily scaled up or down, depending on what's left from your night of excess.

Experiment with your favorite spices. A version containing star anise and black peppercorns could be used to dress a seared duck breast. Or substitute white wine, and scrape the seeds of a vanilla bean into the pot for a speckled syrup that will go well with stone fruits and sorbets.

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