The holiday season is NOT the happiest season for everyone. For many it’s a reminder of the money they don’t have to splurge on loved ones. Or it can often be a friendly reminder of problems with loved ones or that you’re setting the table for one less person this year.
To put it bluntly, the holiday season can be depressing and social media makes it worse. For me, I see everyone getting ready for the holidays and traveling and I get holiday season envy. Meaning, I see friend X posting “I’m off to Mexico! Happy Holidays!!” or other friends posting pictures of them getting together before heading home and I’m jealous and sad.
Holiday season envy is real and it isn’t a happy feeling.
So how do I get past holiday season envy? By getting off social media, being thankful that I’ve evolved enough to enjoy time by myself, and drinking (a lot). Not the most enlightened way to get over my holiday blues, but pick the right drink and you’ll be just as jolly as everyone else.
This year I decided to learn how to make mulled wine, which is a European tradition. The word “mulled” literally means heated and spiced. The first time I had mulled wine was last year at an orphan Christmas celebration and I fell in love with it.
Ok that was a lie. At first, I thought hot wine was probably going to taste horrible. However, the aroma from the mulled wine that filled the house made it irresistible to taste it. And once I drank the mulled wine, it was dang near impossible to stop.
So no matter if you’re going through your own holiday season envy or having the time of your life with family and friends, be jolly and get heated and spiced with this easy recipe for mulled wine!
Mulled Wine Recipe
(recipe from Gimme Some Oven)
- 1 (750ml) bottle of dry red wine (preferably a shiraz or cabernet sauvignon and not cheap but not expensive)
- 1 orange, sliced into rounds
- 1/4 cup brandy (original recipe says optional, but it’s not)
- 1/4 cup honey or sugar
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan, and bring to a simmer (not a boil — you don’t want to boil the alcohol out!) over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours. Strain, and serve warm with your desired garnishes.
*You can also place the oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a cheesecloth. Then simply strain and pull out the bundle when ready to serve.
Optional Garnishes: orange peel, star anise or cinnamon sticks