With the slight drop in temperatures and a chill in the October nights a good warm cup of mulled wine is a wonderful solution in keeping the chill from shaking your being.

While mulled wine is usually associated with Christmas because a cup will bring you good health, warmth and happiness which are all things associated with Christmas.

Mulled wine can be traced to 20AD in the Roman Empire when wine was boiled and spices added to make a warm sophisticated beverage.

It was year’s later in Victorian England when the drink became associated with high society as a sophisticated Christmas beverage. I think it’s a recipe that will warm you when you need it and bring a satisfaction to you from its “healing” powers.

For this recipe use a decent inexpensive wine like a merlot or cabernet. Bad wine will produce an off tasting recipe and you and your guests will notice the harshness. While you’re adding quite a few ingredients the wine in this recipe is still the star!

You can get a great bottle for around $7.00 - $8.00 that will taste just fine, or you can expand your search and pay a visit to one of the many local wineries here in the great Garden State and use their wine to make it extra special and all Jersey.

Cheers!

You'll need:

2 bottles of wine (pref Merlot or Cabernet)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups Port
1 cup of Bourbon
3 cups of apple cider
6 apples sliced
2 small oranges sliced into quarters
10 cloves (pressed into the orange slices if you want to be fancy)
1 tbsp of honey to taste (don’t use sugar)

How to put it together:

Prep apples, and oranges, sliced and cloves stuck into the rind of the oranges. Into a large sauce pan add the wine bring it slowly to where it's just barely simmering, add the apple cider then port wine, all should be warmed through but don't ever let it boil.

Add cinnamon sticks, apples and oranges. Add bourbon last, turn off heat and let it steep for 5 minutes. Taste and add honey if bitter or to cut bourbon. Heat all ingredients for 3 minutes. Serve hot in warmed up mugs.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

The best outdoor beer gardens at NJ breweries

There are more options than ever for enjoying a Garden State crafted beer in an outdoor setting.

New Jersey tied for first place (with Kentucky) with 43% growth in the craft beer scene from 2015 to 2019, according to C+R Research.

The following is a roundup of breweries around the state with scenic, dedicated outdoor seating as weather allows.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM