Sure, a glass of wine or a beer is a nice way to unwind – but every now and then you deserve a happy hour that’s a little more...hmmm. What’s the word? Refined! Kelly Sparks of Queen Bee Mixology is graciously sharing a new cocktail with us every week, just in time for Happy Hour. Queen Bee is raising the bar for cocktails made at home with recipes that are both easy – and delicious! Want more? Connect with Queen Bee Mixology on social media for extra recipes and behind-the-scenes content.
It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays, and that means it's time to think about party drinks! What better crowd pleaser than a good mulled wine recipe? This warm cup of cheer is sure to make spirits bright this holiday season.
- 1 (750 ml) bottle of Merlot or other fruity (but not too sweet!) red wine
- 2 cups pure fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and picked through
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste
- 1 medium organic orange
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup brandy
- Garnishes: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries threaded onto a cocktail pick
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Add a bottle (750ml) of wine, 2 cups of orange juice, 1 cup of cranberries, and 1/3 cup of sugar to a 3-quart or larger Crock Pot. Stir to help sugar begin to dissolve.
- Wash orange thoroughly and stud the orange with the cloves – just stick the cloves directly into the peel, pointy end first. You can poke it all over with a toothpick first to make holes for the cloves.
- Add the clove-studded orange and the cinnamon sticks to the wine.
- Cook on low for 1-2 hours, or until the berries are tender. You can cook it for an hour or two longer if you wish, make sure it doesn’t boil.
- Remove the orange and the cinnamon sticks, then VERY CAREFULLY pour the mulled wine through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heat-proof bowl. Using the back of the spoon, press on the cranberries to get all of the juices into the bowl. A berry or two may burst, so watch out!
- Return wine to the Crock Pot and stir in the brandy. Taste and add additional sugar until it’s just sweet enough.
- Ladle into mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick, an orange slice, and/or fresh cranberries pushed onto a cocktail stick, if desired.
- Keep your Crock Pot on the “warm” setting to keep the wine nice and hot. If your Crock Pot doesn’t have a warm setting, try alternating between “low” and off.
ABOUT THE DRINK: