Bells will be ringing, snowflakes will swirl; the holidays are fun, until you hurl.
Such sweet poetry… yep, I’m full of it. Poetry, that is…
Remember my old rule, when I write a bad pun or rhyme – take a sip. So take a sip. Maybe two.
Each holiday, I’ve written about various wines with which to toast the season. This year, I wanted to mix it up a little by making my own wine concoctions. I did not invent these recipes, but I wanted to try them because I’m feeling creative. And using a cork screw in artful ways just didn’t satisfy my creative thirst.
But first, a little winter’s tale of nog for you – gather round.
It was a cold Christmas eve, the snow crisp and deep, and even. With everyone at home with their treasures, and few creatures stirring, HubbyDoug realized that he’d forgotten to buy his traditional carton of nog! What now?? Donning his best Maple Leafs toque (beanie), and jacket he dashed out to find the frost was indeed cruel; no open stores. Bah! When what to his wondering eyes should appear, a lone open gas station, oh dear, oh dear! And, yes kids, it had one remaining carton of the nog he craved; as if it was there just for him.
Now, what could possibly go wrong by drinking gas station egg nog, you ask? Well, my friends, it wasn’t just the frost that was cruel that night…
Lesson learned: Always. Check. Expiry. Dates. Even at Christmas.
My nog will be different. It will be delightful! It will be tasty! It will be fresh! It will have wine! And it will be served within a day of making it!
Two of the most consumed traditional favorites are Egg Nog, and Glögg. Egg nog is, well, egg nog; delicate eggy goodness with nutmeg and cinnamon. And Glögg? You’ll see in a bit.
Use Your Noggin’
While my nog has white wine, the only stipulation is that it be a dry white. So many possibilities, but also the chance of a swing and a miss; too dry or savoury and it upsets the delicate balance. Too sweet and you may need to go to the ER. What to do??
I looked at the general flavor profiles of a couple of white varietals and narrowed the field down from there. While I love Sauv Blanc, the herbaceous profile suggests it might be too pungent: flavors of green fruit and vegetables such as gooseberry, green bell pepper, grass, and sometimes nettle. Using wines with great complexity of flavors is, honestly, a waste since the star attraction is really the nog, not the wine. So go for an inexpensive wine that has a higher acidity (to cut some of the nog’s creamy heaviness). An affordable Pinot Gris might be a good bet since its style can range from dry, off- dry, medium to sweet, and flavors include spicy tropical fruits, hints of honey and nuttiness, depending on the region.
I chose a 2016 Chateau St. Michelle, from Columbia Valley, Washington, with flavors of pear, melon and a whisper of spice.
Christmas Egg Nog:
2 egg whites
1/2 bottle white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest 1/2 cup honey
3 cups milk
1/2 quart half and half nutmeg
Place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat with hand mixer until stiff. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine white wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, and honey over medium heat. Stir until mixture is warm, then slowly add the milk and half and half while continuing to stir.
Stir over medium heat until mixture is frothy. Remove from heat. Fold in beaten egg whites, then pour mixture into individual glasses or mugs.
Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Glögg, on the other hand, has been described as the Long Island Ice Tea of mulled wine. There is a lot of booze in this, and really packs a punch, so better make sure you have Uber lined up if you’re drinking this during the annual open house crawl. Just reading the ingredient list will show you just how much booze is in this. It’s crazy.
Keep in mind, this serves 4.
1 750 bottle dry red wine
1 cup white rum
1 cup bourbon (getting tipsy)
1/2 cup brandy (hello I’m now drunk)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark raisins
1/4 cup raw almonds (no skins)
1 entire orange peel
1 cinnamon stick 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves 5 cardamom pods
In large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all of the ingredients. ( Do not use an aluminum or copper pot because the metal can give the Glogg a metallic taste.)
Allow it to warm until small bubbles form along the edges of the pot. Make sure the mixture doesn’t boil as this decreases the alcohol content. And we don’t want that!
Carefully strain the raisins and almonds out of the liquid.
Now, nestle yourself in a chair or sofa because you may be there a while and … enjoy!
Whether you have a fully stocked wine cellar ready to go, or are trying a different take with wine based holiday drink, have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light.
Be safe, be kind, and be good for goodness sake. Apparently, he sees you when you’re sleeping.
Copyright ©️TheWineStudent, 2018