The daylight hours are short this time of year, and the cure in the UK for that seems to be mulled wine – red wine, served warm, with lots of Christmassy spices – “Christmas in a glass”, if you will. Sadly, I’ve learned that eggnog is no where to be found here, but starting in December, mulled wine is everywhere – in the pubs, in the grocery store, at parties.
Embrace a bit of British tradition and try making some of your own this year. There seem to be no strict rules on what goes into mulled wine, but it is generally made with an unoaked, fruity red wine and wintry spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peels.
A sample recipe from BBC:
1 bottle red wine
1/4 c demerara sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange, halved
1 dried bay leaf
2 fl oz sloe or damson gin (optional)
1. Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
2. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste.
3. Off the heat, stir in the sloe or damson gin if you are using it.
4. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.
Some other ingredients to try in your mulled wine are
- lemon and lime peels
- fresh ginger
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by clementpetit