Savoring a Quiet Moment & Raising a Glass to Friendship and Good Company: Soul-Warming, Spicy Mulled Wine…
The last few days and hours before a holiday are always a busy time. With all of the necessary preparations —shopping and cooking, packing and travel— it’s easy to lose sight of the more important aspects of our gathering amid all the hustle and bustle. Sometimes it can be helpful to remember that many hands make light the work; free up yourself, so that others may enjoy your company. A perfect pumpkin souffle is no match for a sweet kiss. Savor a few quiet moments with those you love, for those are the times we all remember most.
Do you know someone working a bit to hard, trying to please everyone but him or herself? Perhaps they might benefit from a back rub and a soul-warming serving of mulled wine beside the fire. Sit those worker bees down, pull off their shoes and hand them a glass. The napkin-ring polishing and guest-bedroom primping can wait. Time always speeds up around the holidays, and it’s up to us to pull the emergency break and slow it all down. Grab someone’s hand and take a walk through the forest or a stroll through the local park or garden. Tell a story. Share a secret. Give something of yourself to keep forever…
I love a glass of warm, mulled wine on a cold autumn evening. Last year I posted a recipe for mulling spices —which can be used for regular or spiked apple cider, and for mulled wine as well— but I have another, extra-special recipe I call ‘Mulled Autumn Wine’. This concoction is a little headier and takes a wee-bit more time prepare than the one I previously posted. Of course, I think it’s worth the wait. So if you know someone —or a group of someones— you’d like to spoil over the holidays, this might just do the trick. Feel free to tweak away at the ingredients – everyone seems to have their own special twist…
Happy Thanksgiving Friends!
Mulled Autumn Wine
Ingredients for Mulled Wine: (serves 8)
1Â Â Â Â Â Â Bottle of good, dry red wine (750ml)
1 2/3 Â Â Ounces of good quality brandy
1 2/3 Â Â Ounces of Grand Marnier
1Â Â Â Â Â Â Teaspoon superfine sugar
3 Â Â Â Â Â Â Teaspoons of honey (plus or minus to taste)
2Â Â Â Â Â Â Ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice
2Â Â Â Â Â Â Ounces of fresh squeezed lemon juice (Meyer if possible)
1/2 Â Â Â Â Orange, sliced into wheels
1 Â Â Â Â Â Â Cheesecloth spice bag
2Â Â Â Â Â Â Teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
1Â Â Â Â Â Â Cinnamon stick, broken in half
4Â Â Â Â Â Â Cloves (approximatey)
3Â Â Â Â Â Â Cardamon pods, split open
3Â Â Â Â Â Â Star anise
2Â Â Â Â Â Â Bay leaves
Garnish: (for 8 glasses)
1Â Â Â Â Â Â Lemon, sliced
24Â Â Â Â Â Cloves
8Â Â Â Â Â Â Cinnamon sticks
Crack open cardamon pods and muddle lightly. Add all spices to a cheesecloth sack and toss in a large pot. Pour in the wine, brandy and Grand Marnier. Stir in the orange slices and the juices, and cover. Let the mixture sit for approximately 3 hours. About an hour an a half before you are ready to serve, remove the orange slices with a slotted spoon and bring the mixture to a very, very low simmer. Add the honey and sugar and stir to dissolve. Continue simmering for a total of an hour an a half (be careful to never let the wine overheat or boil).
In meantime, slice the lemon crosswise into 8 wheels. Stud each lemon wheel with a few cloves and garnish the individual glasses with a lemon wheel and cinnamon stick.
Remove the wine from the stove and pull out the spice sack with a slotted spoon.
Carefully divide the wine between the 8 glasses and serve warm.
Article and photos are â“’ Michaela at TGE
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