My friend brings her kids to trick-or-treat in a neighborhood known for big candy bars, ghoulish haunted houses and one special treat for the grown ups accompanying all the little zombies, princesses and pumpkins. Mulled wine! This is hardly a recipe — it's a brew even the laziest of witches could pull off.
I thought this was a great idea — a gesture that will be most appreciated on the chilly fall evening. And, it may come in handy throughout the holiday season. There isn't one specific recipe for mulled wine per se, rather many variations according to your own tastes and spice preferences. There are mentions of mulled wine, or "grog" or "glogg" in English and Nordic cookbooks dating back to the 1500s. Sometimes this spiced concoction was even served to kids. Any bottle of wine will do — from the fanciest to the sale bottles. I think red or white can both be nice in this manner.
Mulled wine combinations are really only limited by your imagination. Other additions to include are: Cinnamon sticks, star anise, pepper corns, apples, cloves, nutmeg, grapefruit, honey — the possibilities are endless!
1 bottle red wine
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin
10 cardamom pods, smashed open
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 orange peel
In a large pot, pour wine over all other ingredients. Simmer on low for about 1 hour, with the lid on. Strain through a fine sieve into a thermos.
Pour into small cups for parents and a large mug for yourself.
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)