The holiday season has sapped posts from this blog, but it hasn’t done so in any other areas of my life. My writing goes well. Further, an onslaught of baked goods and mighty spirits has filled our Italian apartment, including croissants, Russian tea cakes, an apple crumble, a tremendous roast chicken with vegetables cooked in the drippings, and an American-style vegetarian chili with stovetop cornbread (if you’re interested in the recipes, just leave a comment or email [photo from here]).
I’m writing with a fantastic mulled wine recipe that only takes 2 minutes to prepare and is ready to serve the moment the wine is warm. The type of wine is not very important, suffice that it is red. If you’re looking to go the cheap route, I suggest the good ol’ jug wine Carlo Rossi or Almaden’s Mountain Burgundy. Here’s the recipe, you will need a tea ball:
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup of sugar
2 shots of brandy or whiskey
1 liter of red wine
1) Pour wine into a pot and begin to slowly heat (do not boil, or the alcohol will evaporate). Zest ½ of the orange using a peeler and making sure that very little of the pith (white stuff) comes off with the peel. Try to take off large chunks of the peel so that you will be able to identify them easily when they are in the wine. Bludgeon the peel to release flavor.
2) Put peel in the wine and squeeze a little juice from the orange as well.
3) Put cloves into the tea ball and into the wine.
4) Add the cinnamon sticks, sugar, and brandy.
5) When the wine begins to steam it is ready to serve. Depending on your preferences, you may want to let the ingredients steep a while, add more of this or that, or simply pour it all into a mug and say Cheers to Our Enemies’ Enemies!
If there are any ingredients you add to your mulled wine that I’ve left out, I’d love to hear about them.