For whatever reason mulled wine never really caught on in the States, but it is a staple of all European Christmas Markets. Served hot in festive mugs, it usually costs €5 in Viennese Christmas Markets for the first mug, and then €3 for refills. They'll refund you €2 if you return the mug at the end of your visit.
The wine itself is like Christmas in a mug, warming with cinnamon, and just a little numbing to the tongue because of the clove and star anise, and has become one of my favourite traditions during the holiday seasons.
2 bottles dry red wine
2 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
4 whole star anise
6 green cardamom pods, bruised
4 whole all spice
1 small piece of nutmeg or ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ cup water or juice--I use black currant
2 tbsp. sweetener
1 thinly sliced tangerine (optional)
Mix ingredients in a large pot on the stove and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy with friends.