The holiday season doesn’t just come with good seasonal food but rich and flavorful holiday drinks. What is your favorite?
Mulled wine, (Gluhwein), is a popular Christmas drink in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. It contains red wine, fruit, cloves and cinnamon and is served hot by street vendors at Christmas Fairs, (Weihnachtmarkt). It is also sold during the ski season on the slopes of many European resorts.
Mulled Wine Recipe
2 bottles of medium-bodied red wine
1 cup sugar and more to taste
6 cinnamon sticks
Push the cloves into the skin of the oranges, then cut the oranges in half. Pour the wine into a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan and warm over a medium heat. Add the sugar, spices and clove studded oranges. Keep an eye on the wine and turn the heat to very low as soon as it gets close to simmering. You don’t want it to boil or it will lose its alcohol content! Taste for sugar and add more until it tastes right for you. Keep it steaming over a low heat for an hour or so to allow the spices to infuse. Ladle it into glasses or mugs and breathe in the spicy aroma.
Other things you can add to mulled wine:
Star anise, bay leaves, mace, ginger, cardamom, lemon, lime, brandy.
Family, food, and travels are synonymous with the holiday season. As leaves begin to change colors and winter coats make their way out of the back of the closet, visions of pumpkin pies, turkeys, and sorrel fill our dreams. Did I lose you somewhere? If you’re a lover of Caribbean cuisine I didn’t. Sorrel is a drink that is a holiday favorite in the Caribbean and many American homes.
Officially named the Roselle plant, the juice drawn from the red sepals of the plant is what is called sorrel. The flowers are white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, as the fruit matures a stout fleshly calyx at the base of plant begins to enlarge and becomes bright red. Although Sorrel is an Island favorite it can be found around the world and in specialty grocery stores.
8 ounces dried sorrel
2 cinnamon sticks (each approximately 3 inches long)
1 piece orange peel (fresh or dried, approximately 3 by 1-inch)
12 whole cloves
10-12 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar (or more to taste. Granulated will give a better colour.)
In a non-corrosive pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil then add the sorrel, sugar, cinnamon stick, whole cloves and orange peel and stir continuously while the mixture boils for one minute.
Cool and cover with foil or plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to steep for 2 hours or overnight.
Taste for strength and sweetness. If it is too potent, add water or if too tart add more sugar. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a jar and refrigerate. (Discard the spices left in the sieve). The sorrel will stain so use a non-reactive glass jar or bowl. Don’t use plastic.
Recipe from: Recipezaar.com
Image from: Photobucket.com
Being an East Coaster nothing ushers in the fall for me like a cup of hot apple cider. The smell of cinnamon and cloves in addition to the heat of the mug warming my hands on a cold day is one of the great experiences of fall. Enjoy this recipe from all recipes.com – Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor