Here in Minnesota, there’s a definite winter chill in the air. In fact, that’s a giant understatement. There’s a bone-chilling, frostbite-after-nine-minutes-inducing chill in the air and it is NOT pleasant to be out in.
One of the literary works that comes to nearly everyone’s mind this time of year is, of course, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Some like to revisit this famous Christmas story yearly through rereading it, seeing it performed live or watching their favorite film version (The Muppet Christmas Carol forever!), but why stop there? Isn’t there some sort of warm drink you could pair with the book or film?
“A Merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon over a bowl of smoking bishop, Bob!”
What on earth is a smoking bishop, you ask? Why, it’s a citrusy mulled wine with port. Sounds delicious, no? Let’s have some!
Whether you need shielding from the winter weather or not, this mulled wine is sure to warm you, body and soul.
Spoiler alert: Your home is about to smell AMAZING.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 bottle ruby port
- 3 oranges (or lemons, or both)
- 22 whole cloves
- 1 cup water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole nutmeg, cracked open
- 1/4 tsp. ginger, freshly grated
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Push 8 cloves each into two of the oranges and place it in a baking dish to roast for about 1 hour.
- In the meantime, boil the water with the 6 remaining cloves, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and ginger until the mixture reduces.
- Heat the wine and port in a large pot over low to medium heat. When spice mixture is ready, pour it into the wine and stir.
- Once the wine mixture is heated, put in brown sugar to taste. Port has a sweetness to it, so be sure not to add too much sugar. You can always add more.
- Cut the last orange (unroasted) in half and squeeze the juice of half into the wine mixture, setting aside the other half. Put the roasted oranges right into the pot with the wine mixture without squeezing them.
- Ladle some of your smoking bishop into a glass of your choosing and garnish with a slice of orange (from the remaining orange). Let it cool a bit so you don’t burn your mouth off.
Keep in mind that this will make more than it’s advisable for just one person to consume in a sitting. Therefore, this is best shared with friends! It’s nice to have some sort of fancy punch bowl to serve this in, whether you’re having a party or not. But it’s also practical to keep it warmed over low heat in the pot on the stove or in a crock pot.
Did you try it? Let me know how it turned out!