Although mulled wine evokes scenes of ski apres and winter Christmas parties, I grew up with neither of these. When Christmas is usually over 100F, and I lived nearly 2000 miles from the nearest ski slope, Christmas is usually a time to enjoy cold champagne or icy beer. But nonetheless, my friends and I always found an excuse in July (when it was chilly) for Christmas in July or some other winter party to enjoy mulled wine. —aussiefoodie
Bruise the cardamon pods with the back of a knife.
Take one orange, and stud with the whole cloves to cover the orange. Slice one other orange into thin slices. With the third orange, juice and zest the orange.
Combine the sugar, water, orange juice and zest in a large non-reactive saucepan, and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and slowly simmer over a medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the red wine, port, Cointreau, whole orange, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods and star anise to the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer over a low heat for 10 - 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to infuse. Do not allow to boil.
Remove the cardamon pods, and then ladle straight into glass coffee mugs. Feel free to include orange slices or cinnamon sticks and star anise in each mug. Or pour the entire mixture into a heat resistant punch bowl, and allow guests to serve themselves into punch glasses. Leave the whole orange, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and star anise in the bowl as decorative garnish.