Oh, the weather outside is frightful! Well, that’s a matter of opinion. I love the chilly weather and during this hustle and bustle time of year I welcome the chance to snuggle up under a lap blanket with a book (I’ll be honest, it’s more like my laptop to get some writing done but I’d swap it for a book if my priorities were right).
I wanted to share a rousing recipe for a cocktail but it’s just too chilly to think of anything other than a warm drink. I’m sharing a simple Vanilla Citrus Spice Blend that’s more than a mulling spice. The term mulling spice is so 14th century so I’m going with spice blend. Not only that but this blend is versatile.
- peel of ¼ orange, organic if available
- 10 cloves buds
- 1, 4-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- ½ dried vanilla bean
- 4 cardamom pods
- 10 all spice berries
- ¼ teaspoon lavender buds
- Using a sharp paring knife peel the orange, leaving as much of the pith on the orange as you are able.
- Slice the orange peel into strips. Spread the strips on a plate and dry overnight.
- Combine all the ingredients in a jar or small pouch.
This spice blend makes the ideal holiday gift.
- Pre-prepare either of the mulled cider recipes (recipe to follow this week) and package it in a mason jar with instructions to warm and enjoy. Consider giving the spice blend with a quart of local cider and write the cider recipe on the gift tag.
- Fill a mason jar with 1/3 cup raw sugar and one batch of the Vanilla Citrus Spice Blend. Write the instructions for the Bourbon Spiced wine and gift with either bourbon or local wine. (recipe to follow this week)
- Maple Syrup : Simmer the Vanilla Citrus Spice Blend with 12 ounces of maple syrup for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight. Strain. Wow your french toast or boring pancakes.
- Air Freshener : Before guests arrive, simmer 4 cups of water and the Vanilla Citrus Spice Blend for one hour. The scent is warm and welcoming.
- Spiced Apple Cider Vinegar : Infuse 8 ounces of apple cider vinegar by adding to simmering cider. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 2-4 hours. Strain and gift the infused cider to a food lover.
- Spiced Syrup : Infuse a simple syrup with the Vanilla Citrus Spice Blend. Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of raw sugar to a low boil, add the spices, reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight. Strain into a glass bottle. Serve, as a holiday cocktail, with prosecco. If you are feeling extra festive add a splash of Art of the Age’s Snap.