Alternative Heating: Mulled Wine

Last time I posted something seasonal to drink up here, I kind of missed the boat.  So before we get into spring, I’m going to go ahead and post this.  The pictures have been langoring around here, all lonely.  Technically I should be proofing my projects for my literary translation class, but I can take fifteen minutes to encourage you all to drink.

I have no heating in my apartment.  But you live in the south of Spain!  you may exclaim.  You don’t need it!  So, so wrong.  The cold here isn’t that bad if you are outside.  No snow, no hail, temperate cold. But  it’s a humid kind of cold that soaks inexorably through your coat, and more pertinently, into the stone walls of your apartment building.  Add in single paned windows full of chinks and you’ve a recipe for living in a damp fridge.  I now pick my restaurants and bars based on the quality of their heating systems and insulation instead of the quality of the food and drink. Right now it’s 11 AM, a beautiful day outside, high fifties Fahrenheit.  My nail beds are blue.  No joke.  Well, maybe it’s more purple than blue.  But anyways.  We’ve got a space heater that we share around, but with the price of utilities here is straight up hairy and those things are electricity hogs.  So now you know why I sleep in Andalucía under flannel sheets, a down comforter, and then a folded quilt on top of that.  With my hot water bottle kitty.  And my face slowly freezes at night.

But why all this bitching about the poor state of my core body temperature on a food blog?  Well, I have found a cheaper solution to central heating.  Mulled wine.  It gives you a false feeling of warmth from the alcohol dilating your blood vessels and is actually warm from you know…boiling it on the stove.  Just drink it quick before the apartment leeches all of its heat away!

Mulled Wine

2 c red wine

1 c orange juice

1 or 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar, depending on your tastes and how dry your red wine is

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves

2 allspice berries (if you have them)

Lemon peel – no white stuff! Bitter is bad in this particular case.

A quick plug for one great thing about living in the south of Spain after moaning about the cold: oranges.  I picked these oranges off of a tree out in the countryside, in December.  They are the best oranges I’ve ever eaten.  The idea of freshly squeezed orange juice in December seems…strange.  But it’s the best thing that could happen to all of us cold-prone weaklings.  So in my mulled wine, it’s fresh squeezed wonder juice.

Toss everything into a pot.

Bring to a boil.  Turn it down immediately after to low and let it barely simmer for twenty minutes.  Strain into mugs.  Drink.  Sigh with pleasure because for once, you feel warm.

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!

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