The bloke and I decided to help a friend prepare for a lectureship interview today by running a mock interview last night and critiquing his presentation. I don't begrudge him this attention, as we'd all like to see him get this job. As I hurried home from the station, I saw some neighbourhood Bonfire Night fireworks above the roofs of the houses. I suddenly wished very much that I were in London, jammed into a pub with a dozen acquaintances, excitedly pouring mulled wine down my throat to insulate me against the cold before going to a park to watch the Guy burn.
I did get to have the mulled wine. I like the stuff I make best anyway. It goes like this. Start at least an hour before you want to drink it. Then, over the lowest possible heat - you don't want to boil the wine - mix the following:
- 1 bottle nice rich red wine (I favour chianti but merlot was fine last night. Thank you M&S.)
- 1 lemon, sliced into rough chunks
- 2 oranges, likewise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup sugar (Can be adjusted for taste. I like mine pretty sweet.)
- some cloves
- ground cinnamon
- freshly grated nutmeg
- splash of brandy, sherry or other sweet strong liqueur (I used the last of our previous year's homemade sloe gin)
Stir periodically. The longer you can bear to let it sit and heat slowly, the better it'll taste. When you can stand it no longer, make 2 cups of peppermint tea and add it to the mulled wine. Spoon into wine glasses as if it were punch. Nom.