New Year’s Mulled Wine

Today’s Musings:

 “Hush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry…” – Aimee Mann

My subconscious, whispering in my ear, played that loop over and over.  How foolish I was to disregard the implications.
I will not be silenced.

Siblings, secreting our history, provide a whitewashed version.
I will not be silenced.

Lovers, patronizingly deciding they know better, advise me not to post it.
I will not be silenced.

Confidants, with murky glimpses of my tale, admonish me for whom I tell.
I will not be silenced.

Childhood memories, keenly recall the consequences of talking back.
I will not be silenced. 

I will speak my truth, I will write my story, I will shout at the top of my lungs, because, finally, whether you choose to believe me or not, I will not be silenced. 

Today’s Recipe:


New Year’s Mulled Wine

I’ve been making mulled wine for years, but my family declared this particular recipe “the best” ever.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 24 whole allspice berries
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • 1 bottle dry red wine

Directions

  1. Combine apple juice, sugar, orange, lemon and spices in a medium pot. Simmer until sugar has dissolved and spices have steeped, about 15 minutes. Do not boil.
  2. Add wine and heat until hot.
  3. Pour through a small sieve into mugs with an orange slice or cinnamon stick in each.

The Happy Maker

Cremasse - Let the festivities begin

Cremasse – Let the festivities begin

In the early 1990’s, my recipe for mulled wine, quickly dubbed ‘moldy wine’ by my brother, became a Christmas Eve tradition. This was soon followed by a recipe in 1992 for hot butter rum, nicknamed hot bubba, made with a vanilla ice cream base. For the next 20 years, tradition necessitated a mug of moldy wine before appetizers followed by hot bubba after dinner with the cookie tray.

Last year, the firm where I work produced a “Holiday Cheer Guide” of employee family recipes. After hastily skimming the guide, it was headed for the trash – no need for for Aunt Edna’s fudge recipe or Mom’s secret ambrosia salad – when I happened upon a coworker’s recipe for Cremasse, a traditional celebratory beverage from Haiti. This was something I wanted to taste!

Within one evening, Cremasse (a.k.a. The Happy Maker) has usurped both hot bubba and moldy wine as our festive holiday cocktail of choice. At first sip, I knew this was no sissy’s drink and must be consumed slowly and judiciously, but surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising), the carafe was entirely drained within a few hours.

Cremasse – The Happy Maker

1 L.         dark or spiced rum**
2 c.         sugar
¼ c.        water
3              cinnamon sticks
14 oz.    sweetened condensed milk
12 oz.    evaporated milk
15 oz.    cream of coconut
2 T.         vanilla extract
1 T.         almond extract
1 t.          ground nutmeg
1 t.          ground cinnamon
1 t.          salt
Zest of two limes

Combine sugar, cinnamon sticks and water in a saucepan and place on low heat. Allow sugar to fully dissolve and make a simple syrup. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk rum into cooled syrup. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut cream. Vigorously whisk milk mixture into rum in a steady stream to avoid curdling. Add extracts, spices, and zest. Set aside of two hours to allow flavors to meld. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into glasses, garnish with nutmeg and serve. Cremasse can be served cold or room temperature – I prefer it cold.

**dark rum allowed the almond to come through while spiced complimented the cinnamon and nutmeg

Time for sleep

Time for sleep