But lately...well...I've been altering wine like crazy. I have several cookbooks that have recipes for wine-based drinks, and I've been finding myself intrigued. For instance, one recipe was for a winter-inspired rosé recipe - you add lemon and sage to it (spoiler alert: it did not taste great). Likewise, I have several different mulled wine recipes.
There is one recipe that stood out, though: Orange Peel Wine. Which, not surprisingly, is from one of my favorite cookbooks, French Food at Home by Laura Calder. The coriander gives the wine a bit of bite and the sugar gives it a roundness that you really want out of a white wine in winter. Calder recommends a Muscadet, and I concur - I use a rather inexpensive bottle that I get from Fresh Direct. The major thing to remember is that you need to make sure there is no white on the orange peel; believe me, it'll make the wine super bitter and yucky. Other than that, this is a cinch to make. Drink it as an apéritif or digestif.
from French Food at Home by Laura Calder
One 750-ml bottle dry white wine
1 medium orange
1/3 cup/65g sugar
8 coriander seeds
Open the wine. Pour out about half a cup so that the bottle doesn't overflow when you add the other ingredients; of course, enjoy the wine while you finish the recipe.
Shave the zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler. Remove every trace of the bitter white pith from the back with a sharp knife. Poke the orange zest into the bottle of wine (if you have any trouble, I found that using the handle of a wooden spoon will get the zest into the bottle). Funnel in the sugar. Drop in the coriander seeds. Recork the bottle Turn it upside down and right side up a few times until the sugar has dissolved. Refrigerate 1 week, giving the wine a shake once a day.
Strain into a carafe and serve well chilled.
I have three bottles marinating in my fridge right now. What will I do with all that wine? Well, I bought carafe type bottles at Fishs Eddy the other day, and I plan on giving out small carafes of this to some friends this holiday season. More on that soon!
This was a good lesson for me. Rather than sniffing my nose haughtily about how I don't drink "wine cocktails," I needed to expand my mind a bit and embrace the possibility that wine and coriander, together, might just be delicious.
Eat, drink, and stay open-minded.
Other recipes I've posted from Laura Calder's French Food at Home:
Bacon and Hazelnut Leeks