For Kristina Magro’s modern take on mulled wine, she set out to create an improved iteration of the mugs of glühwein sold on blustery days at Chicago’s annual Christkindlmarket, a sprawling outdoor festival featuring ornament vendors and stands hawking strudel. Her recipe puts to use a malbec made specifically for the bar by winemaker Brianne Day in Oregon. To that, she adds Lustau Vermut and Lustau Grand Reserva Brandy to up the proof, plus apple chunks, which are simmered and then strained through a chinois, for complexity and textural richness.
- 1 liter dry red wine, preferably Day Wines Malbec
- 300 mL Lustau Gran Reserva Brandy
- 200 mL Lustau Vermut
- 250 mL maple syrup
- 2 large McIntosh apples, cubed
- 7 whole star anise pods
- 3 grams whole cloves
- 1 gram ginger powder
- 4 large cinnamon sticks, roughly broken
Garnish: clove-studded orange half wheels
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot set over low heat, and simmer until the apples are soft enough to be cut with a spoon, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to rest for 20 minutes.
- Press the mixture, with the apples, through a chinois, making sure to push all of the liquid out.
- Serve the mulled wine in clear, tempered glasses and garnish with clove-studded orange half wheels.