To set the scene, it’s New Hampshire. It’s December. We got about a foot of snow in the past week and we’re expected to get a bit more soon. It’s freaking cold. So I need a hot drink, preferably with alcohol. I’ve been seeing posts about chai hot chocolate and hot chocolate red wine, but those sounded a bit heavy. So I decided to try an orange chai red wine, sort of like a mix between sangria and mulled wine, but with a chai spice flavor profile. I didn’t know that my idea was actually pretty close to a German spiced wine called Glühwein until I started poking around. Mine doesn’t have brandy or other spirits in it, and I have a few more spices in mine. It’s a pretty thing on a cold afternoon, and great for a wintry get-together. For those of you who are vegan, you’ll need to investigate your wine carefully, and for those of you who are more sensitive than I am corn-allergy wise, you’ll need to be careful in your wine choices. I do well about 75% of the time as long as I avoid American wines, but your mileage may vary.
Orange Chai Spiced Wine
The complete recipe is in the card below, but this is a pretty easy one. Juice and zest some oranges (I used a julienne peeler for removing the zest easily with a strainer), slice part of an orange, and throw the zest, juice, orange slices, spices, sugar and wine in a crock pot on low for a hour. After cooking, I strained out the spices and used the orange slices for garnishing the glasses. I have a bit left over, and I may braise some pork in it because it was totally delicious.
- 3-4 oranges
- 1 bottle red wine 24.5 ounce or 750 ml, fruity red wine such as Merlot, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp whole fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 2 whole black peppercorns
- 1 star anise whole
- 5 green cardamom pods, smashed
- 1/2 tsp cracked dried ginger
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 3-4 quart crock pot
- Wash your oranges carefully. Using a julienne peeler or a regular vegetable peeler, peel thin strips of the zest off of the orange, being careful not to peel too deeply and get into the white pith. Add about a tablespoon's worth of peeled zest to the crock pot.
- Cut one of the oranges in half, and slice one half thinly to add slices to the crockpot. Juice the remaining oranges until you have about 1 cup of orange juice to add to the crock pot.
- Add all spices, brown sugar and wine to the crock pot, and put on low for 1 hour.
- Strain out spices, but save orange slices for garnish. Add an orange slice to glass and pour wine into glass and serve. Enjoy!