Mulled Wine - Not just for the holidays
| January 28, 2011
In Coffee and Convo, Travel Scoop
January has never been top of my list for favorite months. In fact, as I get older, it’s at the bottom. The only bright spot in January used to be my birthday, but these days I'd just as soon skip that too. But I think I might have found a new reason to love the cold, rainy, windy, dark days of the first month of the year: Mulled Wine.
Mulled wine is something I only enjoyed at holiday parties in years past. My favorite memory of mulled wine was that Beverly always served it at her big caroling parties she used to throw when she lived in town. But I never thought about mulled wine after Christmas.
Walking around London earlier this month in their cold, rainy, windy first days of the year, I craved the warm, savory goodness of a hot cup of wine. So daily my daughters and I were on the look-out for pubs and street vendors selling mulled wine. All in the name of research, I vowed to sip every version I could. So as I made my way from north to south London, I sipped and savored a wide variety of mulling spices and methods.
Traditionally whole mulling spices (such as cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, allspice and cloves) are tied in a ball of cheesecloth and simmered in the liquid, and many pubs and vendors still use this very method. But I was fascinated when I discovered some vendors using ground spices stirred into the liquid. This warmed not only my cold toes and fingers, but my desperate cook's heart, because I knew I could and would do this at home, thus bringing me my new reason to tolerate January.
There are a hundred ways to prepare mulled wine, but I heat 2 parts wine and one part fruit juice (even lemonade works) and stir in a sprinkling to taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ground cardamom. The cardamom is new for me and is the one spice I discovered in my sipping journey in London.
If you have a good recipe for mulled wine, please share it with us in the comments section following this post. Please include any thoughts or memories of enjoying the simple and satisfying warm wine drink, as well.
In the meantime, cheers!
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