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By: Jim Wrigley

'Tis the mulling season

'Tis the mulling season

Christmas is coming, and the drinks are getting spiced, the wines are mulling, chestnuts are pretty safe in the Cayman Islands and Santa is trying to work out how to deliver Christmas cheer with no chimneys in sight.

And the proverbial geese ... well, they are getting ignored in favour of the turducken.

Surfin’ Santa aside, one way to celebrate the season of giving is to think about limiting our generation of plastic, waxed paper and CO2 miles for our gifts.

Step aside Black Friday, Green Monday on 13 December is the new environmentally friendly holiday, where we consolidate our presents and help our future by making some homemade pressies that recycle, repurpose, upcycle or remodel our existing items.

Drinks-wise, this is easy. Take things that were headed for the trash can and reinvigorate them with the Christmassy spice of life.
To gift mulled wine, use a leftover wine — or buy the boxed kind and make a big batch — add traditional mulling spices, pour it in an old screwcap bottle, brown bag it with a decorated biodegradable bow and a stick of the dried cinnamon you flavoured the mix with, and then gift away. You can then make a gift card out of old Christmas cards, add Aunt Susan’s hideous tree decoration and you have a unique, environmentally friendly present with a funny story behind it.

As for the wine? It's all about the mull.

Take a mix of the mulling spices, wrap them in muslin and bash them with a rolling pin, then drop it like a giant tea bag into the wine. In a pot with a splash of brandy and a splash of the sherry Aunt Susan pretends not to sneak a slug of from time to time, bring to a low simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool overnight.

In the morning, strain the solids, bottle the wine and gift with a shrug and a “at least it ain’t socks” nod, and Saint Nicholas is your green Father Christmas. Sustainably.

Mulling spices (per 750ml of red wine)

  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • Dried peel from 1 whole orange
  • Dried peel from 2 whole lemons

Jim Wrigley is the beverage manager at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

This article appeared in print in the December 2021 edition of Camana Bay Times.

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