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Mulled Wine

2 lemons
2 oranges
1 - 750 ml bottle of medium- to full-bodied red wine
Nutmeg (to taste)
Cloves (to taste)
1 oz brandy or Cognac (or to taste)
1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar, or sugar substitute (optional)
Herbal or citrus influenced tea (optional but excellent)
Water (optional softener instead of tea)
4 large cinnamon sticks
4 candy canes

Cut lemons and oranges into slices.

Pour the red wine into saucepan and gradually heat. Add fruit slices, nutmeg, cloves and brandy.

Keep an eye on the mixture and wait until it becomes hot to the touch. Be very careful not to let it boil.

At this point you could blend in sugar or sugar substitute if desired. Pour into mugs and add tea or water to taste, if desired.

Garnish with cinnamon stick and candy cane, and serve.

Note: You can also premix the ingredients and microwave it by the glass-full.

Makes four large servings.