There is a category of food and drink which, however good it may be, is a poor fit in a multi-course lunch or dinner menu. It is rich fare best appreciated by appetites made keen by several hours spent in the cold out-of-doors, perhaps on skis, or skates, on a horse or…on foot. One’s inclination may be to ignore their unsuitability for a lengthy meal and have them anyway because, knowing how good they are, there is the temptation to go with ‘a sure thing’ and give others the happy experience of trying them.
But if these good things are left to bide their time, there will come a day when they exactly meet the requirements of the party.
When a special occasion with guests includes a wintertime activity–a snowy woodland hike, a ride across the ridges of the high country, an afternoon on the ice…at the end of the day, this Occasional Menu is just the right place to enjoy some of these fine, substantial classics. A warming, uncomplicated (yet still festive) supper begins with a cup of Mulled Wine…
This version of Mulled Wine is a heady restorative. The recipe makes 12 cups and may easily be halved. However, the dk’s personal experience has been that guests gladly accept a second cup. It has never transpired that making the full amount for a group of, say– 6 people, was an unfortunate idea.
Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.
- 3 bottles of Dry Red Table Wine
- 1 and 1/2 cups of Cognac
- 1 and 1/4 cups of White Sugar
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 8 whole Cloves
- 3 small Lemons (Meyer Lemons are a good size but if larger Lemons of another variety are what is available, use 2 instead of 3, and they will be fine, too.
- a heavy-bottomed Pot large enough to hold the wine and Cognac
- Cups with handles for serving the wine: The photos picture the wine in punch cups without handles…but in reality this wouldn’t be wise. The wine is hot.
1. Score the lemons lengthwise and cut them into thin rounds. Set them aside.
2. Add to the pot the wine, Cognac, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Bring them just to a bare simmer, stirring, over a medium low flame, to dissolve the sugar, and continue simmering gently for 2 minutes.
3. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the lemon slices and serve the wine in cups with handles.
A Note: The dk’s recipe for Mulled Wine is adapted from one that appeared in the December 1994 issue of Gourmet. It is served before supper in the Occasional Menu: Blunting the Keen Tooth of Winter: A Supper Party following an Out-of-doors
An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012