Friday, December 10, 2010

Hot-spiced wine

You need this. You really do.

When unexpected guests drop by.

When expected guests drop by.

When you need a little holiday pampering.

When you need talking down from the Holiday Ledge.

You need this.

This recipe has been kicking around the Wonderfully Patient Spouse’s family for the last 30 years or so. We each have our take on it, but one way or the other, it’s (relatively) quick, simple and delicious. Make a big bad-ass batch. It keeps well in the refrigerator, just begging to be heated up and served. Figure on about 5-5 1/2 cups.

Hot-spiced Wine a la Bermtopia

1 750-ml bottle of a full-bodied red wine (a cabernet or zinfandel works well – and, guess what? CHEAP IS OK!)
1 c water
1 c sugar
1 1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice
Peel of two oranges (orange part only if you can)
One lemon, sliced
3 whole cinnamon sticks
18 whole cloves
15 whole allspice

In a medium-size kettle, combine the water, sugar and orange peel and simmer till clear and syrupy, stirring frequently. Add orange juice, lemon and spices. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Oh my. It smells DIVINE.

Strain through a colander.

STOP!!! Do not -- I repeat, do not -- throw away the citrus and spices. Heck, slice up the juiced oranges and throw them into the mix.

Save and refrigerate. When you want your house to have that wonderfully warm spicy, citrusy smell that screams “I OWN Christmas,” plop the mix in a small pan of water and bring to a low simmer, replacing the water if it starts to evaporate. Depending on how often you do this, you can easily get 3 to 6 turns from it.

Be sure to refrigerate between uses, though. The first year I tried this, I just kept it in a saucepan on the stove. Left at room temperature, it develops a charming fur coat of mold.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Let’s see, where was I? Oh, yes.

Strain through a colander, return to kettle and add wine, cover, simmer for 30 minutes, then serve OR pour into a covered pitcher and refrigerate for future use.

If it lasts that long.

P.S. Sorry about the cheesy fake holly. And service in a juice glass. I'm shameless.

1 comment:

  1. hahhah...... I love the bit about a charming fur coat...