Saturday, February 21, 2015


Sometimes, in-laws bring over a bottle of red wine in an effort to be helpful. And sometimes, that wine is not good, but you don't want to dump it so as not to offend them. There is a solution to this quandary: make red wine syrup.

After taking that step, I had the bizarre notion for a cocktail composed primarily of altered wine-stuff. This was the result.

2 oz brandy (something decent, but not too fancy; a VS cognac would do nicely, I used Asbach Uralt)
1/2 oz mulled wine syrup*
1/2 oz amontillado sherry
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a large strip of orange peel (blood orange is what I had, so I used that; it looks very pretty in the glass).

*Take about 12 oz of the (red) wine in question, place it into a small saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon each cloves and allspice berries, and 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed cinnamon. Bring to a simmer; add brown sugar to taste (this wine was a sweet red, so it only took about a tablespoon; other reds may require as much as 1/4 cup for balance). Reduce to about half the original volume, strain, and allow to cool. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

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