How to Enjoy Georgian Mulled Wine at Christmas by Gina Conkle
Georgian era Christmases were distinctly pastoral. The holiday season stretched from Saint Nicholas’s Day on December 6th through Twelfth Night on January 6th.
Families exchanged gifts on Saint Nicholas Day while Christmas Day was honored with a midday feast. Hams and turkeys graced Georgian tables, but over time roast goose became the fowl to serve on Christmas Day.
My Midnight Meetings series books work their way through 1768, heading toward Christmas Eve in my free short story, Meet My Love at Midnight and Twelfth Night in Meet a Rogue at Midnight. Part of the fun has been researching what Georgian England ate and drank during this festive time.
There was naughty pudding once outlawed under Cromwell. Puritans and Quakers alike considered the dish “lewd” and unfit for God-fearing people. Brandy in certain puddings made it detestable (supposedly the root of much debauchery). It was King George I, celebrating his first Christmas as King of England, who brought the dessert back into fashion. He was nicknamed “The Pudding King” since he zealously favored the food.
But, the other decadent treat from the past was mulled wine. I’d never had it, but I wanted to try some. With a pile of books on Georgian foods and recipes, it wasn’t hard to learn how to make mulled wine. The popular drink is even featured in one of my books on medieval feasts. Turns out, 2nd century Romans get credit for giving us mulled wine. They heated their wine in winter to keep warm. When they invaded other lands, new ingredients were added to their hot wine. Thus, mulled wine was born.
Like the experimental Romans, every recipe has a unique twist from certain eras and regions. Georgians were no different. Wealthy Georgians enjoyed their mulled wine with China oranges (that’s what they first called oranges since the fruit came from China).
Here is one recipe to try:
1 bottle of red wine (a cabernet sauvignon is a modern suggestion)
4 cups apple cider
2 Tbsp. honey
2 cinnamon sticks
Small handful of cloves
Zest and juice from 1 orange
Pour all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let the wine mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour your mulled wine into a mug. Add a small strip of orange peel for visual effect and you’re all set. The drink is tasty. Enjoy!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you – Gina Conkle
Rafflecopter for The Lord Meets His Lady Blog Tour Celebration Giveaway:
Gina is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner an Amazon Kindle Fire and three (3) Runner Ups an eCopy of a book in Gina’s Midnight Meetings series (Winner’s Choice)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
Author: Gina Conkle
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Series: Midnight Meetings
Format: Digital eBook / Print
Print ISBN: 9781492651901
Digital ISBN: 9781402294341
Lord Marcus Bowles has stained his family’s reputation for the last time. Only after spending a scandal-free year restoring some far-flung property can this second son return in good graces. But Marcus isn’t one to abandon a lone damsel on a dark country lane.
One stolen kiss and Genevieve Turner’s handsome midnight savior disappears. Typical. No matter, Gen is finally on the way to her new post, and hopefully to finding her grandmother as well. Instead she finds her mischievous hero is her new employer. Surely a few more kisses won’t hurt…
“Have you kissed her yet?” Samuel asked.
Marcus and Samuel rode along the pasture’s perimeter with an eye to the cottage. Miss Turner’s vibrant red cloak stood out against mellow sandstone. Shovel in hand, she jabbed the earth with determined thrusts. The weeds didn’t stand a chance.
“I assume we’re speaking of my housekeeper.” Marcus halted Khan. “A hardworking, respectable woman of excellent character. She’s done a fine job with Pallinsburn. I wouldn’t besmirch her honor with talk like that nor should you.”
Samuel rode on, his shoulders bouncing with laughter. “And every night she ascends to heaven on angel’s wings.”
If his friend saw right through him, how soon before others did?
“Came on strong, did I?”
Samuel pinched a small space between his thumb and forefinger. “A little.”
He urged his horse forward. “I don’t want her reputation damaged.”
“Should’ve thought about that before making her your housekeeper. People will talk.”
Marcus searched Miss Turner out again, a gust boxing his ears like some admonishing aunt.
Was it so wrong to want to help a woman in need?
His housekeeper cleared the last weedy invaders off his front step. Her serious exterior belied deep-seated passion, evidenced in the way she dove into every task. The enthusiasm fascinated him.
And yes, he admired her other parts.
“What will people talk about? Her youth?” he retorted. “Does a woman have to be long in the tooth to hold a decent position?”
“No, but it’d help if you were toothless. Or married.” Samuel stared ahead, the wind assaulting his queue. “We don’t set the rules, but we both know them.”
“You hired her, and you’re not a married man.”
Samuel’s gaze pinned him. “Nor do I have your unsavory reputation.”
“I’d wager my housekeeper has more honor, more determination in her little finger than any woman of my acquaintance,” he said fiercely. “Who I am should have no bearing on her.”
“Me thinks you doth protest too much…or whatever that drivel is. A clear sign you have it bad for her, but haven’t touched her. Yet.”
Why did Samuel hunt for sordid details? Likely he’d seen through Miss Turner with her low-cut bodices and saucy skirts. Didn’t matter. She worked hard. He didn’t care if she fit the proper housekeeper stamp or not.
He ought to buy a dull grey gown for her, if only to aid her reputation. Smiling against his collar, he guessed she wouldn’t wear it. Nor should she have to. One look at his red-cloaked gardener and he was certain of one thing: he’d do his anything to keep his friend, or any man, on the straight and narrow when it came to Miss Turner. She deserved a fresh start.
His housekeeper had nabbed a piece of his heart.
But the afternoon ride wasn’t meant to discuss his housekeeper’s allure. Samuel pulled his hat low, failing to look him in the eye.
“Quoting Shakespeare,” Marcus said. “You must be reading with Adam again.”
About Gina Conkle:
Gina Conkle writes lush Viking romance and sensual Georgian romance. Her books always offer a fresh, addictive spin on the genre with the witty banter and sexual tension that readers crave. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook.