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Mulled Over

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This past weekend, my roommates and I hosted our third annual Friendsgiving! We were a little early in our celebrations this year, but I prefer to do it a few weeks before Thanksgiving so I’m not sick of the traditional foods by the time the real Thanksgiving rolls around. KDD made a delicious herbed turkey stuffed with lemons and oranges, as well as stuffing and gravy (AND a chocolate cream pie!), while Lactard made a dairy-heavy artichoke dip for an appetizer. I whipped up some mashed Yukon gold potatoes and a cheesy zucchini rice casserole. Other guests brought salad, Brussels sprouts, kobocha squash, pies, meatballs, homemade cranberry sauce, a cheese and meat platter, and cornbread. All in all, it was a very successful Friendsgiving with way too much food and wine (well, there can never be too much wine).

KDD's amazing turkey!

KDD’s amazing turkey!

Speaking of wine, this year I decided to try something new: Mulled Wine. After consulting various blogs and recipes, I concocted a big batch of it using mulling spices from Trader Joe’s, Rex Goliath Cabernet, and the secret ingredient: Brandy!

Mulled Wine (makes 12-15 servings):mulling spices

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 bottles of inexpensive Cabernet (I used Rex Goliath)
  • 1 cup mid-level Brandy (I suggest Paul Masson Brandy VSOP)
  • 6 TB Trader Joe’s Mulling Spice, divided into three tea bags
  • 2 TB white sugar
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Dissolve honey in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add wine, brandy, bags of mulling spices, sugar, orange and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 20 minutes. Serve in mugs or mason jars with a slice of orange.

mulled wine

mulled wine

All of my guests enjoyed the mulled wine, and some were surprised how much it actually tasted like wine! This makes for a great drink during appetizers, or for after dinner – and it’s perfect for holiday gatherings (and much tastier than egg nog!).

About Kelsey

Kelsey is a food and wine lover residing in Napa, California, where she does marketing for a boutique wine collective. She previously lived in San Francisco for over six years, where her blogging journey began. She loves to cook seasonal meals and experiment with new wine pairings. She has been drinking and learning about wine with her father since she was 14, and cooking in the kitchen with her mother since she was 6. Both of her parents taught her well about seasoning and flavors, and she continues to learn more with every meal that is made.

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