RV Potion Number 9 (mulled wine)

To fill one 18 L (100 cup) insulated server rented from Party Stuff U-Rent-It, at $18/weekend

13.5 L red wine (e.g., Franciscan Burgundy from California @ $25.72 / 4 L box in 2003)
4.5 L water
3 oranges
3 lemons
90 cloves (1.5 tbsp)
60 grams cinnamon sticks or bark (I used cinnamon bark from the Indian section of Superstore @ 1/10 the cost of sticks)
55 cardamom pods, cut in half or otherwise opened
4 cups sugar

  1. Boil a few L of water and put it in the server to preheat it.
  2. Wash the lemons and oranges, squeeze them, and save the juice to add later. Tie the peels in a cheesecloth bag with the spices and boil in the water for 1/2 hour or so. (I actually just threw the spices and citrus peels into the boiling water loose and strained them out later, but I'm sure Martha Stewart would favour the bag.) Remove the bag, stir in the sugar and juice, and barely return to a boil.
  3. While the spices are boiling, heat the wine barely to a boil in a second large pot. Drain the hot water out of the server and pour in the hot wine and the hot mix. Put the server in your car and drive to the Millennium Centre. [If you’ve rented the tall metal server it will slosh out the top, tip over when you stop or corner too abruptly, and generally make a mess of itself and the inside of your car (it might not even fit inside if you don’t have a van or station wagon). So I would recommend renting the plastic servers, despite the fact that they smell a bit like last week’s coffee when you first open them. They seal well, are easier to pour stuff into, keep stuff hot, and are more easily handled and transported.]

For home use, you can prepare whatever volume of mix you may need and store it cold (e.g., dividing the above quantities by 3 seems easy). Then combine 1 part mix to 3 parts wine and heat in the microwave or on the stove in whatever quantity you want whenever you want to serve it.

RV Potion no. 10 (mulled cider)

Same as no. 9, but with apple juice substituted for the wine and half the sugar omitted.

contributed by Ted Wiens