Anglo Saxons know it as Mulled Wine, Ikea fans are familiar with Glogg but over in Italy they have Vin Brule. The cocktail advent calendar for day 2 at Rob Roy will be a Vin Brule kept at bay by our own devil dog: Chef Zach. You may not call him Chef Zach (I earned it), but on the weekends he presides over our grilled cheese and tends our trademark goldfish crackers. He’ll be using our Italian table wine which is mostly used for our stately Kalimotxo cocktails and heating it with meyer lemon & orange peel, clove, cardamom, star anise, all spice, cinnamon and demerara sugar. We’ll be feeding this stew all night and serving up warm portions that are then spiked with a hit of brandy.
When making mulled wine remember to use whole fresh spices and just lightly crack them with a mortar and pestle. Ground spices are too powerful and they are stale. The winter gives us amazing citrus, use it. Meyer lemons are seductive, and amazing, and liven up any cocktail this time of year. Remember that heat makes alcohol more volatile, perhaps it is better to say, “heat makes things taste more boozy.” I like to leave the brandy out of mulled wine until it is served, it is easier on the nose that way and it assures that you won’t lose any brandy during boiling.
Lastly mulled wine, just like every other drink we’ll be serving is best consumed in light to moderate excess. The normal warm and fuzzy booze buzz is so much more cozy from a hot punch.
The Vin Brule
- 1 bottle Red Wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 star anise pods
- 8 cloves
- 6 cardamom pods
- 10 all spice peppers corns
- 1 cup of demerara sugar
- the peels from 2 whole meyer lemons and oranges
bring all ingredients except sugar to a boil, mix in and dissolve sugar, reduce to a simmer
add 1oz brandy to each cup when serving