The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mulled Wine

We’ve made it, our journey through holiday drinks and the days leading to Christmas has sadly come to a conclusion.  The bright side is I have just over twenty-four hours left to do my Christmas shopping, prepare a Christmas Eve feast and enjoy the season!  To end our collection of concoctions we have a very nice Mulled Wine, a drink that can easily be served anytime of day throughout the colder months.  I like to make sure that none of my Christmas day guests leaves the house without one of these in hand!

Mulled Wine has dozens of names and slight variations depending on where you are in Germany and Alsace it is known as Glühwein.  In France, vin chaud.  In Italy, mulled wine is typical in the northern part of the country and is called vin brulé.  In Russia, Glintwein.  Glögg is the term for mulled wine in the Nordic countries.   All are typically made with red wine, sugar and a combination of spices.  The oldest known record of one of these variants is attributed to the German nobleman and first Riesling grower of the world, Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen around 1420.

In a saucepan warm 1500 ml of Burgundy over medium heat until steaming; add six ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice and a cup of brown sugar.  Stir in two teaspoons of ground cinnamon.  In a tea ball place one teaspoon whole allspice, one teaspoon whole cloves, and one teaspoon cardamom seeds.  Place spice ball into pan and simmer over the lowest possible heat for twenty to thirty minutes.  Remove the spice ball and serve garnished with a cinnamon stick.  To keep the wine warm for an extended period, pour it into a covered crockpot on low heat.  The wine can also be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours (this also lets the flavors blend nicely), either reheat on the stove for ten minutes before serving or in the crockpot.

Mulled Wine
1500 ml burgundy wine
6 oz fresh orange juice
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp cardamom seeds
Heat wine over medium heat, add orange juice, sugar, cinnamon and remaining spices in a tea ball.  Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes.  Serve with a cinnamon stick.

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