The New Year is beginning with a cold and grey day which should make for a perfect “mulled wine night” by which to contemplate the holiday season that is now drawing to a close – made all too apparent by our brittle Christmas tree. I clipped this recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle a while back and finally made it for the first time in December 2009 when we had a few neighbors in for dessert (best if your guests can walk home!) Have you ever seen the old Bewitched episode where Imogene Coca played the Toothfairy and Darren gave her some brandy to warm her up? I always think of that when I drink this. It will warm you right down to the bottom of your toes and then some.
The recipe comes from The London Ritz Book of Christmas. Just a few ingredients (whatever you do, do not skip the brandy!) and it’s very quick to put together.
- 4 cloves
- 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 cups red wine
- 7 T brown sugar
- two 2″ cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup brandy
Push the cloves into the lemon (easier if you poke the lemon with a sharp knife tip first) and put in a saucepan with the wine, sugar and cinnamon. Bring to simmering point and simmer gently, covered, for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the brandy, strain and serve at once. Serves about 4.
May you be surrounded by the warmth of loved ones and enjoy good times and good things to eat and drink in 2011!