Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Market & Mulled Wine

On Friday night John and I made our way down to the Distillery District to meet up with some friends to check out the popular Christmas Market. 
Having never gone before, my expectations were high from seeing pictures in years past. I was not disappointed.

When you get to the Distillery District the first thing you see is lights, lights, and more lights.
It's magical.
Unless you go during the day, then I can't promise the lights will be as magical. 

It's just beautiful. I spent the first few minutes just squealing.
We stopped first for some free scotch (John) and apple cider & rum (me, because they had temporarily run out of mulled wine) and warmed up by the fires they had going in their beer market (see the first picture).
Then we walked around to check out the tree, the carousel, and the ferris wheel. 

On our way to the wine sampling (where there's wine, we'll find it) we stopped to pose with the Gingerbread house. Then we sampled a selection of Ontario wines from Malivoire, Henry of Pelham, and a few others we've yet to visit.  

Then after a quick stop for a grilled cheese with bacon sandwich, we made our way back to the adult beverages for some mulled wine and more scotch.

My first time trying mulled wine was Friday afternoon when I made my own. 
I'm hooked. 
I used Martha Stewart's recipe and made a few changes based on what I had handy.

Follow the original Martha recipe here 
Or my slightly different version below
  1. Set a pot over high heat. Pour in one bottle of red wine.
  2. Add in the zest  and juice from 1 orange, 1 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tbsp cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1/2 cup brandy.
  3. In a tea bag, spoon in 1/2 tbsp nutmeg and 1/2 tbsp all spice. Bring up to a boil and add teabag to the mix. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let wine cool slightly.
  4. Pour wine through a strainer to remove the zest, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and teabag.

Then pour contents back into the original wine bottle.
Mulled wine is best served warm so if you don't drink it right away heat it up again before serving.
And if you're feeling crafty - make a fancy new label for your bottle.
I made this one for the bottle I brought to my brother in law's birthday dinner last night.

Most of the alcohol burns off during the process so if you want you can add a dash of brandy to the finished process for more of a kick.
If not, just enjoy the wonderful taste of Christmas Sangria! 

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