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Mulled Wine

Course Drinks
Servings 4 cups


  • 1 bottle Red wine (drinkable, but save the fancy stuff for another time)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white rum (silver grade will do just fine)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 8 - 10 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamonstick per cup (for garnish)


  • Pour wine into a medium sized pot. Cut the fruit into slices and add to the wine, along with the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Begin to warm the wine over low heat.
  • In a second pan combine your sugar, rum, ground cinnamon, and ground clove. Bring it to a simmer, but be careful! As the rum heats and dissolves the sugar, it also becomes extremely flammable. For this recipe, that is precisely the idea.
  • So, here’s the tricky part. Once the sugar is dissolved, light it on fire. Really. Either use a long lighter or match (like you’d use at the fireplace), a bamboo skewer, or a strand of spaghetti (yes, it burns) and carefully light the rum. The small mushroom cloud/flaming ball of doom is the correct result.
  • Now, carefully pour said doomball of rum into your wine. Stir the rum into the wine, and as you do the flames should begin to die down. Not only is this a great bit of theater, it also caramelizes the sugar, adding a much more complex and richer flavor than simply dumping sugar into wine.
  • Serve in earthenware goblets, heavy mugs, etc. adding a slice of each fruit and a cinnamon stick to the vessel. WARNING! If any guests go back for thirds, consider snagging their car keys. Most of the rum should have burned off in the fire, but that’s most, not all. This one can sneak up on you!


There’s plenty of places to play with this one. Experiment with some cranberries in addition to the apples and oranges. Up the acidity with lemon. Maybe try adding some whole peppercorns, or perhaps even some dried hot peppers. As ever, please use this and every recipe as your springboard, not your landing pad. Then, tell me what you have done!