Mamacita's Mulled Sangria from Outlander book Voyager

Mamacita's Mulled Sangria

“Have you ever drunk sangria, Mrs. Fraser?”

I opened my mouth to say “Yes,” thought better of it, and said, “No, what is it?” Sangria had been a popular drink in the 1960s, and I had had it many times at faculty parties and hospital social events.  But for now, I was sure that it was unknown in England and Scotland; Mrs. Fraser of Edinburgh would never have heard of sangria.

“A mixture of red wine and the juices of orange and lemon,” Lawrence Stern was explaining.  “Mulled with spices, and served hot or cold, depending on the weather.  A most comforting and healthful beverage, is it not, Fogden?”

Voyager (Chapter 50 – I Meet a Priest)

Feeling a little bit of déjà vu?

If you were around OK near summer's end, you probably caught my warm weather version of Mamacita's Sangria.  I promised then to return nearer the holidays with a mulled interpretation.

spices for mulled sangria

I've chosen some strange company to invite along for our Outlander Kitchen holiday celebrations this year.  Last week we were eating Gougères with the Comte St. Germain, and now, once again, I've subjected us to Mamacita and her questionable hospitality.

That said, I think we've all been subject to at least one nasty glance from across the room at a holiday party in the past.

WHICH IS WHY I love the mellowing influence of the mulling spices in this recipe.  As with all sangria, remember this is laced fortified with liqueur, so be careful, lest you find yourself on a strange bed, covered in winter coats. (Most of you know what I'm talking about - don't deny it.)

grand-marnier

As it's Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus, I took the opportunity to pull out all the stops; I chose Grand Marnier as my fortifier, and I also included a pear, my favourite winter fruit.

But since there's not a lot of point in spending a mint on wine you are going to pour juice, sugar and more booze into, I chose a very moderately priced bold, fruity Argentinian wine that stood up nicely to its transformation:  2011 Cabernet/Malbec from Trivento Reserve.

And in case you're wondering, those are Gingerbread Twigs, a recipe from Taking On Magazines -- one of my favourite food blogs, written by Outlander fan Christiane.

sangria- copy

Always remember that a recipe is a guideline, not a blueprint.  Use what you have, and find inspiration in your pantry, rather than buying ingredients you may only use once.

For instance, when I couldn't find the star anise I was sure I had, I used fennel seed instead to infuse some licorice flavour into my libation.


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