In Europe, especially in the colder, northern parts it is a tradition to have stands with mulled wine everywhere outside, at winter markets, Christmas markets, ice rinks, skiing huts, or just along the street when holidays shopping. It is not just mulled wine, but literally (translated) called ‘blazing with heat wine’, because spices are added, citrus and something much higher proof, rum or brandy. In places affected by the polar vortex, this is a drink that definitely keeps everyone warm and in holiday spirit.
First, there is a large pot, and a bottle of decent red wine (a cabernet would be good, or a red blend like Menage a trois, basically your favorite red wine, don’t use cheap wine). Cut up 1-2 oranges depending on if you use 1 or 2 bottles of red wine.
Next step is 1-2 TB of mulling spices. There is a great mix from Trader Joes, or you can make it yourself (ca. 7 whole cloves, a stick of cinnamon, a whole star anise, dried orange rind, and maybe some juniper berries if you have them, but optional, cloves and cinnamon are a must). So, a whole bottle of wine, an orange cut into slices, the mulling spices, and now heat up slowly (should get hot, not boil). Now, add 3-4 TB of sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add about 1/8 of a cup of spiced, dark rum or brandy before serving (hot! in a mug).
Now, you can feel like being at a European Christkindle’s market.