Oh reader, we know the holidays are barely upon us, but the holiday romances have arrived, and we simply can't help ourselves! Today we've got Sarah Morgan, author of this week's 4-1/2 starred Sleigh Bells in the Snow. Set at a Vermont resort —complete with sexy resort owner — we'd teleport ourselves there if we could, to snuggle by the fire with a good book — and maybe some mulled wine, per the authors suggestion, perhaps? Sarah tells us:
In Vermont, and other snowy places in the US, it’s a tradition to serve hot apple cider as a warming drink on a cold day, but in Europe it’s more common to serve hot red wine, spiced with cinnamon, spices and fruit. In France they call it Vin Chaud (literally, hot wine) and it’s a favorite among skiers. In Germany it’s Glühwein and in the UK we call it Mulled Wine. It’s the perfect warming drink if you’re outside on a cold evening and it makes the house smell wonderfully festive.
I like to serve this if we have friends over on a cold winter night around the holidays. Here’s my recipe.
Sarah Morgan's Mulled Wine Recipe
1 bottle of red wine (the French often use Beaujolais but I confess I use whatever I can lay my hands on.)
2 cinnamon sticks (If you don’t like cinnamon, use vanilla)
1 orange, left whole and studded with cloves
1 orange, sliced.
6 tablespoons white sugar (try honey if you want to vary the taste)
(Adjust the spices according to your preference. Some people leave out the cinnamon and use vanilla. Some people add Star Anise)
Push the cloves into the orange, then add all the ingredients to a pan and heat gently (do not boil!). Allow to heat slowly for at least half an hour then serve hot in mugs (or a glass with a handle) with a slice of the orange. This recipe is easily adapted to your taste. You can dilute it with water, add more fruit, more sugar or more spices. Just don’t boil it or you lose the alcohol. You can make it in advance, let it sit then heat it up when you’re ready to drink it. Strain it to remove the spices and ladle it into mugs. Perfect for a cold winter night!
Oranges studded with cloves also make for a festive, warm decoration
Sounds like a recipe we'll be trying out this winter! Perhaps while we're reading Sarah's latest, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, which is available in stores and online now. And be sure to visit our Everything Romance page for more holiday love stories.