When I first started trying this recipe, I had this thought that I could make it without sugar. I mean, I make apple cider without sugar, and I definitely drink wine without sugar. Well, let me tell you that while oranges and wine taste great with a little sweetener, they don’t taste great at all without it. So, sugar it is. You could probably substitute honey or artificial sweetener, but I have not done that, so I can’t tell you how that will turn out. But, I figured it was a holiday drink, and the little sugar in here is probably nothing compared to what I’m going to be eating in cookies for the next couple of weeks.
Another thing that surprised me was how much I liked the anise in the wine. Honestly, I am not a huge anise fan, but they are really pretty, so I included just one at first, and then decided it was really good and needed more!
You can really use any red wine to make this, but I used Mirassou’s Red Blend.
This recipe is super easy to make, and you can have it ready including orange slicing and heating in less than thirty minutes – easy.
- 1 750 milliliter bottle of red wine (I used Mirassou's Red Blend.)
- 1 orange sliced
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- Garnish: orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise, if desired
- In a large pot, stir together all ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain into mugs and serve hot.