In his series Marcus' Kitchen, chef Marcus Samuelsson shares dozens of recipes that prove "American" cuisine is really a delicious melting pot that draws upon flavors from all over the world.
Every country has a version of spiced wine, Marcus explains. It's a perfect drink for the holidays, since it infuses the entire room with fragrance. First of all, don't buy expensive wine, he says: "The cheaper the better." He adds some red wine to a pot, then adds a splash of vodka for a kick. Next up is port -- about the same amount as the red wine.
Then, Marcus adds spices. He starts by adding a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, star anise and cloves. He adds raisins and almonds both to the pot and to the individual glasses. He pours a healthy amount of sugar into the wine mixture, then drops orange slices into the glasses. He zests two oranges and adds both the zest and the juice of the oranges to the wine. For some zing, he grates fresh ginger into the wine.
Finally, he puts the wine over the heat, but he's careful not to boil it: You want to bring it to a simmer, then let the ingredients steep. (Don't make the mistake of keeping it too cool, however; you want the wine to be quite hot when you serve it.)
When the flavors have absorbed, he ladles the wine into the prepared glasses and it's ready to serve.
Get the Recipe for Warm Mulled Wine.