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Christmas in a glass

Post Time:Dec 23,2014Classify:Industry NewsView:398

LIKE The Sound of Music, my kitchen is alive with the sounds and smells of Christmas preparations. This year I'm aiming not to be stressed out so I'm making as many of the treats as early as possible. The stress of cooking will reflect in the food. If you relax and enjoy it, the food will feel relaxed and be enjoyed.


Christmas cookies and, of course, the cake are all ready. Our traditional Christmas pudding - laced with lashings of old Jamaica rum - which has been maturing for over 12 months, is ready to be steamed again on Christmas Day for a few hours and then served piping hot and flaming with brandy and served with brandy butter.


The turkey, a gift from a dear friend, will arrive today or tomorrow so we'll be all set for the big day.





And Christmas would not be Christmas for me without the delectable taste of a spiced, warming glass of mulled wine - described by Jamie Oliver as Christmas in a glass.


Some trace mulled wine back as far as ancient Egypt, where wine was often spiced with pine resin and figs to ensure a safe transition to the afterlife.


Others say it came from the Roman emperors. Apicius, the Roman collection of recipes from the 4th century AD, contains a recipe for “conditum paradoxum," wine that was sweetened with honey and spices.


Variations of mulled wine have subsequently existed all over the world, although traditionally it’s associated with European countries that once formed part of the Roman Empire. It's also very popular in the United States.


There are indeed many recipes for mulled wine - some simple and some less so.


My thanks to British wine writer Alice King, who kindly donated this pleasingly simple, one-step method for making classic mulled wine.


Alice says the great thing about mulled wine is you can keep adding to it. If unexpected guests arrive and you've no wine left, simply add some more water and fruit.


She suggests you use her recipe below as a basic guideline, adjusting the quantities of wine if you want it stronger and adding more sugar or honey if you like it sweeter.




(makes 24 servings)


2- 750ml bottles full bodied red wine

1 orange studded with cloves

2 oranges sliced

2 lemons sliced

6 Tbsp granulated sugar or honey

1 cinnamon stick

2 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger (or ground ginger)

2 Tbsp fruit liqueur - e.g. Cointreau, Grand Marnier or cherry brandy (optional)




Put all the ingredients in a saucepan with 1.5 liters water then heat to simmering point, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.


Keep it barely at simmering point for at least 20 minutes – but do not boil or all the alcohol will evaporate.


This can be made in advance, then re-heated just before the party.


Serve it warm in sturdy wine glasses.


The citrus works brilliantly with the warm spices to create a kind of winter sangria effect which never fails to please. And the aroma of this classic will fill your kitchen with the wonderful smell of Christmas.


Mulled wine brims with that real Christmassy spirit and it's a guaranteed spirit raiser, but don't forget that not everyone drinks so for a non-alcoholic version, simply swap the alcohol for apple juice.

Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/bacolod/lifestyle/2014/1Author: shangyi

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