The holidays are fast approaching. Time to gather round with friends and family to eat, drink, and be merry. And what better way to be merry than with some lightly-spiced mulled wine.
And this is no ordinary mulled wine. This delicately sweet, fragrantly spicy with a hint of citrus holiday concoction is infused with immune boosting elderberries. Elderberries have long been used in syrups and elixirs to fight off colds and flu, to boost the immune system, and to stay healthy during the cold winter months. I give my kids elderberry syrup through out the winter months. You can make your own or buy it at your local health food store or online.
Elderberries are rich in flavonoids which are natural compounds with antioxidant qualities that protects cells against damage or infections. Elderberry also contains vitamin A, B, significant amounts of vitamin C and amino-acids. All these nutrients can help you stay healthy and prevent diseases, by boosting your immune system.
Several years ago, I planted an elderberry tree in my backyard. Every year that same beautiful tree gives me loads of elderberries to make medicine with. I always save a bit to make mulled wine with during the cold winter months. Nothing like a toasty beverage to kindle the holiday spirit. If you are not lucky enough to have your own elderberry tree, you can purchase bulk dried elderberries to make this delicious wine.
So, next time you gather to celebrate and share, make up a batch of this holiday cheer. I hope that it warms and delights your soul.
Wishing you much joy and peace during this holiday season. May you and yours stay warm, healthy, and happy.
- one bottle of red wine
- 1 and ½ cups filtered water
- ½ cup dried elderberries (like these)
- juice from one large orange
- zest from one orange
- 1 cinnamon stick (like this)
- 2 whole star anise (like this)
- 3 whole cardamom pods (like these), lightly crushed
- 4 whole cloves (I use these)
- 1 vanilla pod (like this), cut in half lengthwise
- ¼ cup RAW honey (I use this one)
- OPTIONAL GARNISH:
- cinnamon sticks
- orange zest strips
- Bring everything EXCEPT red wine and honey to a boil in a medium pot. Turn heat down a bit , and continue to simmer for 10 minutes to completely infuse flavors.
- In a larger pot, GENTLY warm up red wine and honey. Add simmered spice/berry mixture and allow to warm for at least 15 minutes to meld all those delicious flavors. Do not over heat as this will cook away the alcohol of the wine.
- Strain with a fine mesh sieve and serve. Garnish with cinnamon sticks or strips of orange zest, if desired. Enjoy!