I I love making edible gifts, mainly because a handmade piece feels so much more generous than something you just bought in a store; It can also be a frugal way to clean out your cupboards. This Christmas, I’m making wine sachets using warm spices, dried ginger, and citrus peel, which I’ve dried over the oven. It is best to buy whole spices, not ground ones, as they stay fresh that way. However, they, too, will lose their potency over time, so it’s a good idea to rotate them and make sure you’ve used up your old spices before buying alternatives. (At home, we keep a “use next” box of dried ingredients on our countertop, which is often the inspiration for our next meal.)
Examine the wine spice pouch
This makes a sweet little gift and is a great way to use up store cupboard ingredients. If you want to be really generous, gift other wine ingredients as well, whether that be wine, honey, maple syrup, orange juice, or even a bottle of spirits. Note that all components of the bag are optional – I’ve included a long list in the hopes that you’ll have at least some of them on hand. Like chai tea, mulled wine recipes vary greatly, and are delicious even when made with a little spice.
for spice bag
2-4 cm piece of dried ginger peel
4 cm piece vanilla seeds
for imposed wine
4-6 1 tablespoon of honey, maple syrup, or sugar (my choice)
To make the wine bag, put a mixture of all the ingredients in the center of a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, and tie it tightly closed, so that it looks like an old money bag; Note that all ingredients are optional, so adjust the amounts to suit your own taste.
To make wine, pour orange juice (or water) into a small saucepan and add honey, maple syrup, or sugar, if using, to taste. Drop the bag of wine into the skillet, bring to a boil, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for five minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the red wine to just below boiling. Pour mixture from saucepan and, if desired, top with spirit of your choice. Keep the mixture warm over low heat and serve.