Orange Mulled Wine
Photo: Anita Jaisinghani / Contributor
During the ’90s when I was raising my kids in suburban Houston, I had a good friend and neighbor who was Dutch. We car-pooled and our kids played with each other for hours on end. She had traveled the world, including having backpacked her way through Asia and India.
She wasn’t much of a cook herself so meals were usually at our house, given my constant experimenting. However, every year around Christmas, she would start making vats of mulled wine flavored with spices, fruits and herbs — the aroma would waft down my street and all I had to do was follow my nose and join her on the stoop to sip warm, spiced wine. Of all the European nations that traveled to India in search of spices, the Dutch have maintained an abundant use of spices in their cooking.
My personal favorite is pairing red wine with sliced local Satsuma oranges, ginger, cardamom and rosemary. Sometimes I will throw in black pepper or cinnamon however in the spirit of the difficult times we have all been through, a shot of brandy may be the perfect addition.