Catskills Cocktails: Mulled Spiced Citrus Port

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

You can still enjoy a warming port or wine cocktail even if it’s 70F on Christmas Day. Port has an illustrious history: both sweet and warming. Sherry and Port were a staple in the households of British Christmas drinkers when I was growing up and here is a tangy variation on the theme that employs sweet cherry juice. Merry Christmas!

Mulled Spiced Citrus Port

750ml Tawny Port
100ml cherry juice
1 orange
1 lemon
10 whole cloves
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 cinnamon sticks
1 drop of vanilla essence

Slice off the peel (including pith) of both the orange and lemon until you have the raw fruit and about eight slices of fruit peel. Put the peel to one side and muddle the raw orange and lemon fruit together with the port and cherry juice. Add the remaining ingredients, including the fruit peel, into the muddled mixture. Steep the mixture for a few hours. Add a cup of water to dilute to taste. Pour into a saucepan and heat gently until warm. Remove the fruit waste – but not the peel – once the port has warmed sufficiently to serve.

Serves four to eight.

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