2 medium lemons
2 medium oranges
10 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups water
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
2 (750-milliliter) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Beaujolais Nouveau
1/2 cup brandy
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons and oranges in wide strips, avoiding the white pith; place the zest in a large saucepan. Juice the lemons and oranges and add the juice to the pan. Place the cloves and cardamom in a small piece of cheesecloth, tie it tightly with butcher’s twine, and add the bundle to the saucepan.
- Add the sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks, place the pan over high heat, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by about one-third, about 20 minutes.
- Add the red wine and brandy, stir to combine, and bring just to a simmer (don’t let it boil). Remove from the heat and remove and discard the spice bundle before serving.
- Keep mulled wine warm in a slow cooker and let guests help themselves.