Finnish Mulled Wine


2/3 cup vodka
2/3 cup port wine
15 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
2 orange zest strips (1 to 3 inches)
1 orange slice
1 lemon zest strip (1 to 3 inches)
1 lemon slice
1 piece fresh gingerroot (about 2 inches), peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
3 cups dry red wine
1 cup packed brown sugar
Blanched almonds and raisins (optional)


1. In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
2. Transfer to a large saucepan; stir in red wine and brown sugar. Bring just to a simmer (do not boil). Reduce heat; simmer gently, uncovered, until flavours are blended, about 30 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain.
3. Serve warm, over blanched almond and raisins if desired.

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