Blogger Alaina Sullivan’s recipes never let us down, and this warming spiced wine-and-rum cider is no exception. The longer the mixture sits, the more flavorful the punch, so it’s a perfect holiday make-ahead.
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup amber rum
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup whole star anise
2 Tbsp. dried fine cut chamomile herb & flower
2 Tbsp. dried valerian root
Tools: pitcher, strainer
Garnish: star anise
Note: Makes about 3 cups. Double or triple the recipe depending on how much you want to serve.
Combine ingredients in a pitcher, stirring well to combine. Adjust ratios as preferred—if you like it less boozy, up the apple cider measurement; if you want the rum to be stronger, add it in a 1:1 ratio with the wine. If you want a stronger woody, herbal quality, have at it with any combination of bark, roots, herbs—there's flexibility with these measurements, so experiment and see what works.
Allow the concoction to sit for at least 3 hours for the flavors to marinate. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets.
Before serving, strain the liquid to remove the floating herbs, roots and spices. Serve cold, at room temperature or warm—it tastes delicious all three ways.
Alaina Sullivan, Palate/Palette/Plate