Last Friday marked the day Hubby and I started our big adventure together, eleven years ago. Hubby had bought steak and he came home with a bottle of red wine. We normally go for Châteauneuf-du-Pape with red meat, but the bottle of red wine Hubby had chosen was great to accompany our beef with Dijon mustard and steamed vegetables. It would definitely complement my rougail saucisse and chorizo pasta perfectly, too.
We did not finish the bottle and the following day, I really fancied vin chaud (mulled wine). Can you think of a better winter warmer than hot, sweet, spiced wine? Me neither!
It turns out that as I have been making batches and batches of cranberry mincemeat recently, I had all the ingredients I needed at home.
Within minutes, it smelt like Christmas all around the house!
As we were sipping our mulled wine, I started thinking about presents for the children’s teachers and decided it would be a nice idea to give them a mulled wine kit. I made some more on Monday for my friend, just to make sure the balance of flavours was right. I used less cardamom and it was perfect!
I then started putting together what I had in mind and it looked great! It would make a nice alternative to an impersonal bottle of wine for colleagues, your children’s teachers or an ideal Secret Santa gift. Whether the recipient decides to make the mulled wine or not does not matter. It is all about the gesture and the effort that went into it, isn’t it?
Our kit included all ingredients listed in the recipe below. I studded the orange with the cloves, for aesthetics’ sake. I placed the cranberries, ginger, cardamom pods and bay leaf in a jar, but did not close it with a lid. I simply used jute as a way to prevent the contents of the jar from escaping, and secured the cinnamon stick to it with raffia ribbon. The sugar went in a smaller jar, lid on, with jute on top. I wrote the instructions on Kraft paper and attached them to the neck of the bottle with raffia ribbon. We presented the kit in a bag decorated by the children.
You could omit the cranberries and replace the cinnamon stick and root ginger with their powdered counterparts, but to me, these three ingredients add to the luxurious feel of our homemade present.
Without further ado, here is my recipe:
Luxurious Mulled Wine Kit
- A 6cm piece of root ginger
- 1 orange washed
- 2/3 cup soft brown sugar 85g
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bottle red wine
- Optional: 1 cup fresh cranberries 90g, washed
- Peel the ginger.
- Stick the cloves into the orange and cut it in quarters.
- Place all ingredients together in a saucepan over a medium heat, until just simmering (do not boil). Stir well and reduce the heat.
- Cover and let the spices and fruit flavour the wine over a low heat for ten minutes. Gently squash the orange quarters and cranberries with a wooden spoon to release their juices and stir.
- Serve warm after straining the mulling ingredients.