Monday, February 3, 2014

Blood Orange Mulled Red Wine with Spiced Brown Butter

Blood Orange Mulled Red Wine
HI GUYS. I am terrible. I left y'all high + dry. But but but but, I can explain. See last week the world ended. What? You guys didn't hear? That's shocking, I know, but so true. Well, if you didn't hear, I'll give you the quick rundown of how it snowed two inches in Atlanta and the whole city shut down. I'm not making this up. Luckily for me, I work from home, so I really didn't experience anything too badly. Actually, we were quite excited at first...
the beginning of snow fall
yep, it snows in the south
starting to cover the ground
shots at 5AM in honor of the "state of emergency" 
snow day with my little pup.
See? We welcomed the snow, with open arms. I was tooooo excited, I hadn't seen snow since probably my middle school days. It started innocently enough, but then I got a phone call from my Mountain Man around noon, saying that he got released from work early due to the possible inclement weather. I was TOTES excited. However, I just waited and waited and waited... I watched the news. EVERY major highway, intersection, and street was practically shut down. Black ice was everywhere. Children were stuck at school, or worse, in school buses. Finally 9PM had rolled around I had yet to see my Mountain Man because he had been stranded for over eight hours. In the same spot. I mean it couldn't get any worse. I was stranded at home and couldn't possibly rescue him. It got so crazy, he and one of his friends, abandoned their cars and walked about 7 miles in the sleeting snow back to our house. I can't even tell you how crazy it all was, and it was all over a pathetic two inches of snow. People had to sleep in grocery stores, hospitals, gas stations, and even their frozen cars. It was just straight up ridiculous. By 10 o'clock, the Governor officially called a "State of Emergency" and cancelled all non-essential work/travel for two days. If you guys watch The Walking Dead, this is really how Atlanta looked. No joke. We had no food, or barely any at all, so we ate a lot of potatoes and leftover roasted chicken. Not fun. We did, however, have a lot of red wine... and blood oranges. So, I decided that I would try my hand at making mulled red wine. This classic winter cocktail never really gets enjoyed here because well it's always so-dang-hot and DEFINITELY not snowing. It was the perfect occasion. The flavor was boosted with those gorgeous red citrus fruit, fresh ginger, mulling spices, apple, a-whole-lotta-booze, simple syrup, and a homemade spiced brown butter. The brown butter/compound butter is perfect for any fall drink, but especially anything mulled or it would be fab in a hot buttered rum too! This was the bomb to drink while the snow kept collecting on the ground... and it warmed my Mountain Man up real fast. So all of y'all that are still cold up in the Northern states can enjoy it as well!! Enjoy :)
juicing the blood oranges.
winter citrus art.
gorgeous blood orange slices in mulled wine
a generous slice of homemade spiced brown butter
ready to drink!
For the Spiced Brown Butter:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Browned & Softened
2C Homemade Dark Brown Sugar (or store-bought can be used)
1 ½t Cinnamon
1t Fleur de Sel
½t Freshly Grated Nutmeg, Bourbon Smoked Paprika, & Ground Ginger
¼t Cardamom, Cayenne, & Black Pepper

For the Mulled Red Wine:
2 Bottles of Red Wine
4 Blood Oranges, Zests Peeled & Sliced
1 Apple, Sliced
1 Inch Knob of Fresh Ginger (peeled)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
¼C Mulling Spices
2 Star Anise Pods
1C Homemade Mulled Simple Syrup
1 Vanilla Bean Pod, Split & Scraped for Seeds
½C Brandy, Bourbon, & Apple Jack
Nutmeg, For Grating
Homemade Spiced Brown Butter, For Serving

1. For the Spiced Brown Butter: Cream together the butter, spices and sugar. At this point you can roll up the mixture with parchment into a log. Cover well and refrigerate or freeze for later use. In the fridge the mixture will keep for two weeks, in the freezer a couple of months.
2. For the Mulled Red Wine:Peel the zests off the blood oranges, and then cut up one of the oranges into slices and juice the remaining three. Throw them into the pot, along with the sliced apple, cinnamon sticks, mulling spices, star anise pods, mulled simple syrup, vanilla bean pod, and fresh ginger. Let this mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Add in the wine and bring back to a simmer, about another 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat off the burner and toss in the brandy, bourbon, and Apple Jack. Stir to combine.
3. For Serving:In a mug, add a tablespoon of the spiced brown butter. Top with a few ladles of blood orange mulled red wine. Grate some fresh nutmeg over the top and serve with a cinnamon stick for stirring. The ratio of the ingredients is really preference.

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