Sunday, November 10, 2013

Anna Sultana's Mulled Wine

We had to pack away our bird bath this week.
There's something sad about watching birds, desperately thirsty, pecking at a slab of ice.
Not even a very determined blue jay had any luck.
That ice is as hard as a brick.
Yes, it's definitely wintery here in Manitoba.

Warm and hot drinks are perfect for times like this.
But how much coffee or tea can one drink?
All the caffeine can't be good.

Fear not, there are other hot drinks to enjoy!

One of my favourite scenes in the movie The Lion in Winter is when King Henry ll and Alais were romping around in bed and sharing a hot cup of spiced wine.
It was supposed to happen during Christmas 1182 or 1183, depending how historically accurate you want to be about the movie.
Yes, the movie was fictional for the most part.
But the joys of hot spiced wine are real.
Especially when it's freezing outside.

Ma wasn't big on fancy drinks like cocktails or Manhattans.
But there was always a jug of red wine under the sink.
Perfect for making Mulled Wine.


Clementines are very easy to peel, like a tangerine, and are usually seedless. 
If you can't find clementines, no problem.
Mandarins work just as well.
Or a navel orange.
Just toss the seeds if you find any.

                        Mulled Wine

Peel large sections of peel from 
2 clementines
1 lemon
1 lime

In a large saucepan place
1 Cup sugar
the pieces of peel
the clementine juice
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1/2 Cup red wine
Simmer over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Continue to boil until you have a thick syrup, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low and add
5 1/2 Cups red wine
Gently heat the mixture about 5 minutes.

Ladle the wine into glasses and serve.

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