A gathering approaches. I’m in the heart of my home tending to a bubbling brew atop the stove. Cozy knitted socks warm my feet against the October chill and the steam from the pot of wine tickles my nose with the scents of late fall. Warm clove and cardamom meld with the bright citrus of orange peels. Five-pointed anise stars and thick cinnamon sticks bubble to the top of my burgundy brew. I swirl the collection of herbs around with a wooden spoon and my cat jumps up onto the kitchen counter, trying to get a better view.
The doorbell chimes. My fellow witches have arrived! I let them in and we share our tales of magic and mischief as I carefully pour the mulled wine. The steam spirals above the mugs and twirls towards the window. I catch a glimpse of the trees outside. The crackled brown leaves of late October are frosted with ice crystals, yet they still dance as the wild wind whispers through the branches.
We move to the living room and get cozy by the crackling fireplace. Cheers! We chime our haphazard collection of glasses and mugs together and begin to warm our bellies and hearts with our autumnal witches brew.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Makes 8 Servings
4 cups apple cider
1 bottle of red wine
¼ cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, juiced & zested
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled for garnishes (optional)
Take a large pot and add the wine, cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, honey, and orange zest & juice. Bring to boil then simmer over low for around 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and add an orange peel as a garnish. Enjoy!