Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mulled Wine and Down for the Count

10, 9, 8, 7, 6.....I have been down for the count. Feeling like the Whac-a-Mole game at the carnival, I just keep popping my head up again and again dodging the mallet! One of the latest whacks was knee surgery a few weeks ago. I've been watching movies and too much TV, reading books and doing some computer work in short spurts while icing my knee instead of icing cakes. Friends, family and neighbors have dug in, shoveling snow, checking in by email or phone offering food and comfort. Nice :-) My friend, Debbie, gave me a very welcome gift of Glögg or mulled wine that she made. It is served warm, which enhances the spices as it snugs the soul. I looked at the recipe she referred me to and liked the addition of port and brandy, which add depth. We all have our favorite spices and I prefer cinnamon over the stronger taste of clove. When a recipe calls for cloves, I often just give it a dusting instead of the full amount since their bold flavor can dominate. The mulled wine stores well in a sealed bottle and just a small mug of it takes the chill out while watching snow fall, coming in out of the cold or icing the knee...I think I'll just mull that over...5, 4, 3...

Mulled Wine

1.5 liters medium body inexpensive red wine
1.5 liters inexpensive port (the less it costs, the better)
750 ml inexpensive brandy
2 cinnamon sticks, each 5 inches long
1 whole nutmeg
15 cardamom pods, cracked
3 whole cloves (or more to your liking)
peel of 1 orange, organic is best
1/2 cup dried sour cherries, (may substitute raisins)
1/2 cup whole almonds, blanched and peels removed
1/2 cup
or more to taste, turbinado sugar
Orange rind and cinnamon sticks for garnish

In a nonreactive pot such as stainless steel, pour in the wine and port. Add the cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, orange peel, cherries and almonds. Cover and simmer over low heat.

Put the sugar in a pot and add half of the brandy. Over medium-low heat, stir constantly until it becomes a golden caramelized syrup, about 10-15 minutes. Then add this mixture to the wine simmering in the pot, cover and continue simmering for another 45-60 minutes. At this point, test for sweetness and add more sugar and brandy if you like. Strain* and serve or pour into clean bottles and seal. If you are serving a crowd, you can pour it all into a slow cooker to keep warm.

*You can reserve the soaked cherries to use in baking.

Serve warm in a small mug and garnish with a twist of orange peel and a cinnamon stick.

Makes about 5, 750ml bottles.

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La Table De Nana said...

And here I was thinking you were having the time of your life~:(

I have not wanted to intrude..
I hope you heal quickly..
I have missed you!

Take care~

Meredith said...

So excited to see an edition of 2 Stews. I am making this! I think it'll be perfect on a snowy cold evening. I may even plan a party around it!!!
I love 2 Stews!

Kathy Walker said...

I wondered where you had gone...traveling and enjoying life as well as getting ready for a wedding! So sorry to hear that you have been otherwise occupied. I hope you have a quick recovery. Take care.

The mulled wine sounds comforting. What a nice friend!

Noelle said...

Wonderful ! I love Glögg... used to have a Swedish colleague, very pretty blonde, who would get us all drunk on this at Christmas time ! She used to omplain that her (Swedish) grandfather had some H&M stock and sold it all way too fast - otherwise she would have been a millionaire ! Take great care, and yes, its lovely to read you again on 2 Stews :-)

linda said...

thank goodness you are doing well... very excited to see this posting. what a lovely recipe….i like vin chaud so i am going to give this a try.
please continue to heal & get back to full strength.

Meredith said...

Noelle I liked your comment...I am swedish well at least I have to make a party of this!!! Meredith

2 Stews said...

Monique...Ah, I wish you had been right! You could never intrude and I have missed keeping up with everyone. Things have already started looking up since the New Year. Thanks for your well wishes :-)

Bene...Thank you so much for visiting. Let's hope our snowy cold evening are getting fewer by the day.

Kate...Getting ready for the wedding is a very nice positive distraction. Such is the ebb and flow of life. The good times seem even sweeter. Thank you.

Noelle...He sold his H&M stock? Dratted regrets! Drink up. Thanks for the nice comments.

Linda...Thank you! Each day brings me a little closer to getting back to normal...whatever that may be these days :-) I appreciate your warm wishes.

Meredith...A Glogg party sounds good to me. Maybe with a cheese fondue, too. OK, I'm making myself hungry now! Cheers!!

Deana Sidney said...

Here I thought you were too busy flying all over the world and enjoying yourself... sorry about the knee... hope all is better soon.