OK, OK I know that it’s now August, not July. But those of you who know me, know that I’m probably going to turn up late to my own funeral. Punctuality is NOT my strongpoint. And also, if you’re picking an arbitrary date to celebrate a northern hemisphere winter style holiday, does it really matter when exactly that arbitrary date is? Eh, I don’t think so.
So this weekend, we’re going to Melbourne to celebrate ‘Christmas’ with our good friends Betty and Elms. The thing is though, none of us are really that pushed on the whole Christmassy element of this celebration, what with temperatures topping 23 °C in Sydney this week, it doesn’t feel particularly like Christmas (or even winter for that matter). So really, this is just an excuse to have a bit of craic and get a wee tincy bit langers (who said that?!), so actually, quite like Christmas at home really.
Anyways, these little mulled wine parcels are perfect for this celebration. Just add alcohol and hey presto, you have Christmas in a glass!
Mulled wine parcels
Allspice berries (dried)
A roll of cheesecloth or muslin
Alcohol, ideally red wine or apple cider
Cut your cheesecloth into squares about 8 cm by 8 cm, no need to be too precise. Into the centre of the square add one cinnamon stick (broken into rough pieces), 8-10 cloves, 2-3 cardamom pods, 8-10 dried allspice berries and a large pinch of mixed peal. Now gather together the four corners of the cheesecloth square to make a little parcel and fasten with a ribbon. Make sure not to fasten the parcel too tight, all those lovely spices will need space to ‘mull’ about (kind of like in a teabag) and diffuse their flavour into the wine.
You could add these to red wine or cider. Just add one parcel to a pot of the alcohol and warm gently. Remember, alcohol boils (and more importantly evaporates) at 78 °C, so when I say warm gently, I really mean gently! Depending on my mood, I might also add a slice of orange to the pot and perhaps a dash of sugar, but it’s all to your taste.
Either way, this will cheer up a cheap cabernet no end. Simple, easy, warming, drunkyness. Whoop!
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