Food Drink

Eat out, drink up

he of the times

As the wind howls against your window, a margarita just doesn’t seem right. Look no further than mulled wine. Words: Marieke Smegen

ulled wine has been part of. our winter drinks cannon since medieval times but still rests uncomfortably low in the credibility stakes. ranking alongside egg nog and ginger wine as those awkward eccentric aunts and uncles who only come visiting around Christmas. It deserves. it you pardon the seasonal pun. an Indian summer ol‘ sorts. When was taking red wine and giving it a sweet. satisfying and spicy kick ever a bad idea'.’

lts origin can be traced back to the shoddy water

quality in days of yore. when hygiene wasn‘t exactly a priority and it was pleasing to add some flavour to boiled water. The heat would keep you warm and the spices would kill any bacteria that might he around. keeping you lit. in a medieval sense anyway.

'Mulled‘ simply means ‘heated and spiced‘. It was

originally called ‘Ypocras’ or ‘llipocris'. named alter

the pondering. pioneering (ireek physician Hippocrates. Over the years the recipe has been adapted and moulded to have several regional

I I" '1 1" "ft" " ‘. - '7 I

variations 7- a little more herby. a little more spicy btit the basics always stayed the same. though: hot red wine combined with spices.

While many may swear by a hot toddy for the ultimate in warming alcoholic sups. the growth in popularity of German (‘hristmas markets like those in lidinburgh s Princes Street last year have exposed its to the delights ol‘gltihwein. the (ierman mulled wine.

Mulled wine is easy to make. A good thing about it is that you don't need expensive wine. so some

experimenting can be done to get it exactly to your

preferred taste.

As the winter draws in. both oil-licences and supermarkets will begin to stock ready-to-use sachets. but the spices needed are readily available year—round from most health food shops and the other basic ingredients aren’t difficult to find. so you can make your own mix from scratch. l'se as many spices as you fancy and be as imaginative as you dare. Here‘s the basics to get you started.

You will need:

1 bottle red wine. 300ml (half pint) water 1009 (4 oz) brown sugar 4 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 orange, thinly sliced

Put the water. sugar and spices in a pan and bring it to the boil. Remove from heat and allow it to stand for about ten minutes. Add the wine and heat it all again. Do not let it boil: that will ruin the whole drink. If you see white steam coming from the wine that‘s the alcohol boiling off something you probably want to avoid. Pour the drink into a heated bowl and add the orange slices. Serve hot in mugs or thick glasses. Do not use your expensive wine glasses because they are A A likely to break. Instead. use thick glasses such as the ones made for lattes or lrish coffees. Pre-heating the glass with warm tap water will also prevent them from breaking. This is the basic recipe but there are numerous variations to be had depending on how adventurous you feel including: Adding a quarter cup of Cognac or brandy. Adding citrus or herbal tea bags when adding the wine. For a seasonal twist on Spanish sangria. add 1| of orange juice.

Side dishes

An. extra helping of news . .g ._

DJ Snowboy

I DAY OF THE DEAD IS MEXICO’S post-Hallowe’en celebration of the afterlife and Cuba Norte, Glasgow, will throw a party to mark the event on Saturday 2 November. The venue is also involved in the city’s Si Cuba festival and will feature live Latin jazz from Carlos Pena and Hot Charanga Sauce on 1 November while superstar-DJ Snowboy and the Latin Section arrive for an exclusive appearance trailing a new album, Para Puente, on Sunday 3 November.

I A TRIP TO THE BORDERS MIGHT be apprOpriate for food lovers an the coming few days as the annual food festival there runs Fricay t—Sunday 10 November. Various restaurants and inns will be offering special meals such as an organic one at Sunflower restaurant in Peebies or a farmers market menu at Sv-xinton's V‘t/l'ieatsheaf. The VVl'lth Swan Hotel in Earlston will host a Scottish real ale festival. For full schedule and inforn'iation, VlSll www.y'isnscottish dorclerscom or call 0870 608 0404.

I MONO, THE NEW GLASGOW venture from Craig Tannock, is scheduled to open on - appropriately - World Vegan Day, 1 November. The café/bar/ restaurant will feature food and drink untainted by any animal or GM - products. Located in the former premises of Cantina del Rey, on King’s Court south of the Trongate, Mono is literally a stone’s throw from Tannock’s old business, the 13th Note, which fell into receivership last year but continues to trade on King Street.

I FINALLY. WE COULDN’T HELP BUT be vaguely amused at reperts of Keith Murray (son of ex~Rangers poobah Davrd) and his new bar, coming to Edinburgh's City centre. Apparently vowing to counter style- bar syndrome and create a ‘back to basics“ neighbourhood tavern. the 26-year-old's venture reportedly will feature an Llpll‘titl'ke del: and nightclub. It will supplant the Ainslie at 3 Melville Place and be called l-lalo.