"I have a huge fondness for mulled wine," says Chris Lane, the bar manager at San Francisco's Lolinda. Lane's recipe is an old school one adapted from Jerry Thomas, with the important addition of rum added to each glass. You can opt out if you choose, says Lane: "There is a little more wiggle room for individual taste in punches like this one, versus carefully constructed cocktails, he says. "You can kind of feel your way around the flavors instead of being tied to precise measurements."
"I use either Smith and Cross or Banks rum," he says. "Try something that has guts!" For the wine, use something fruit forward like Syrah or Malbec.
- Yield:makes 8 servings
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 1 lemon
- 12 ounces water
- 12 whole cloves
- 4 whole star anise pods
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 18 ounces ruby port
- 4 ounces raw sugar
- 1 whole orange, quartered
- 8 ounces aged rum
- Garnish: 8 cinnamon sticks, 8 lemon wheels
Remove lemon peel using a vegetable peeler, trying to get as little of the white pith as possible. Quarter lemon and squeeze juice from 2 of the quarters into a glass or measuring cup to yield about 3/4 of an ounce. Reserve remaining quarters.
Bring water to a simmer. Add cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg to water to make an infusion. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add red wine, port, sugar, orange quarters, reserved lemon quarters, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain out spices and citrus. Return to very low heat and keep warm.
Pour 1 ounce of rum into each serving mug, top with hot mulled wine. Garnish each glass with cinnamon slick and lemon wheel.