Monday, December 10, 2012

Honey and Orange Stock Syrup - for Mulled Wine... Mmmm !

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I’ve just finished the first batch of mince pies. The house is full of spicy, fruity scents so evocative of the impending feast. Here’s my tried and tested mincemeat recipe – it keeps for ages if you want to make it in advance, but is ready to use as soon as it has cooled. The gorgeous Christmassy aromas have made me long for mulled wine. 
Now there are mulled wines... and there are mulled wines...  I knew this bloke who was legendary for his seasonal concoction. He simply boiled together 6 bottles of wine with a carton of juice, a heap of sugar and a few ground spices ... from which he was able to fashion 5,000 servings (only a slight exaggeration). It was like the tale of the magic porridge pot.

This miracle he accomplished as follows: for every glass of mulled wine he removed from the pot, he topped it up with water and sugar. By the time he reached the 5,000th serving, the liquid was practically homeopathic, retaining just the barest memory of the original flavours. Shudder.
Bearing this example in mind, I want a seasonal punch that packs ... well... a punch!
I keep a spiced honey and orange stock syrup in the fridge ready to add festive spirit at a moment’s notice. Just add red wine, and some extra spices if you want to add a little more kick, and gently heat through. This quick and easy stock syrup is also great added to a dry Cava; and Santa might appreciate a drop or two in a glass of sparkling water too, particularly if he’s got to drive that sleigh all the way back to the North Pole. 

For 300mls of stock syrup (approximate serving per 75cl bottle of wine) you will need...

150mls fresh orange juice
260g runny honey
The zest of 2 large oranges removed in strips, leaving behind any bitter white pith
The zest of 1 large lemon, as above
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks 

1.                 In a medium saucepan, mix together the orange juice and the honey. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 2 minutes then remove from the heat and add the orange and lemon zest, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Leave to cool. Strain and store in a screw top jar or bottle for up to 2 weeks. I add dried slices of orange and cinnamon sticks to the jar because they look pretty and add to the flavour.
2.                 To make the mulled wine: gently heat a bottle of half decent red wine (yes, I know the budget added €1 but still, you want something drinkable...). Add enough stock syrup to satisfy your sweet tooth. Add further spices (slices of ginger, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg etc) and slices of orange and lemon so it looks as Christmassy as it tastes.

Cheers!
For mulled wine at the drop of a (Santa) hat
 
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20 comments:

Magnolia Verandah said...

What a great idea! Mulled wine at the drop of a hat for the unexpected visitors.

Anonymous said...

That's what I was thinking. And you can customise it for each guest too. :)

Guru Uru said...

Perfect serving on cold days :)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

motherrimmy said...

Wow! I have to say I think I like your version much better. I can't say I've ever had mulled wine. Sounds like something fun to make for Christmas Eve.

Angie's Recipes said...

Mulled wine is very popular over here in Germany. I love yours too.

Jill Colonna said...

Hester, I can just imagine the beautiful, spicy aromas wafting their way here to Paris. I love your version here. What a laugh about the topping up for the 5000... Cheers to you too!

firefoodie said...

just gorgeous, I can smell it already! Take a peek at my blog.. there may be a little treat in store! :) A.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I'm still a child... LOL I have never tried Mulled Wine! xD It sounds beautiful and delicious though. I need to try it to see how it tastes like! :)

Sarah Wright said...

Any excuse for a dry cava, eh Hester? Mulled wine or hot port with mince pies. Now there's a plan for keeping out the winter chill!

Parsley Sage said...

So now I know! When i mysteriously pop up on your door step, you'll be able to whip up a delicious mulled wine on demand :)

Hester said...

Carsley, you'd be most welcome any time, though you might need a woolly unless you bring some Cayman sunshine with you - and of course one of your amazing mango creations.

Lizzy Do said...

SO perfect for the holidays! I love, love that last photo...a jar of syrup would make such a wonderful gift :)

Brownieville Girl said...

I was given a bottle of mulled wine syrup (not home made) a few years ago, and it was really handy.

This takes it up many levels - Thanks :-))

Spicie Foodie said...

I love mulled wine and this is music to my ears. Thanks so much for sharing Hester!

Hester said...

Thanks Nancy - a pleasure!

Kim Bee said...

I'm totally digging this idea. Something about the photos just makes me want to curl up by my fireplace for the night.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Hester, we have so many versions of mulled wine (or as we call it around here "Gl├╝hwein") but I had never heard of a syrup that you can prepare in advance that you can then just add to the wine later. It sounds like such a delcious and smart idea! Wonderful recipe idea! Love learning something new all the time!

Tiffany said...

Can you believe I've never had mulled wine OR mince pies?!?!? BUT I've had cava :D This stock wine is a must try! (and photographed very well, I might add!). HUGS!

Simply Life said...

wow! this has such great flavors!

James Cooper said...

This looks like a refreshing way to drink something sweet and cool yourself with the summer heat. Thanks for the recipe!