In typical female form, I am always cold. It’s why I keep my apartment at a refreshing 78 degrees, want to be in a civil union with my soup-making Staub Cocotte and have made a bad habit out of secretly jacking up the thermostat in other people’s homes, leading to awkward conversations that end with me crying and offering to cover heating bills.
While I count skiing and occasionally leaving my flannel-sheeted bed as favorites, my ultimate winter activity is drinking hot cocktails while Boston’s weather dips below the freezing point. Since I can basically never drink bourbon again after the “Hot Toddy Winter of 2014” and spiked cider seems kind of gauche, I decided to switch over to mulled wine, inspired by those on the menu at Bar Bocce, an adorable waterfront bar in Sausalito with year-round outdoor dining featuring awesome grilled prosciutto pizzas, a giant fire pit and (shocker) bocce ball sets on the beach.
And as I quickly discovered, people are pretty much obsessed with Bar Bocce. After posting a quick photo on Instagram**, I immediately received a plethora of likes and comments from friends everywhere from LA to DC, proclaiming their love for this place and mulled wine.
(as adapted from Ina Garten and Bar Bocce)
Serves 2 for a pretty wild Friday night spent in yoga pants watching HGTV
2 cups of apple cider
Half a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
1/8 cup of raw honey
1 cinnamon stick
Half an orange, zest + juice (I used a Cara Cara orange for added sweetness)
2 whole cloves
3 star anise (finding these involved 20 minutes of searching and 2 Whole Foods employees)
Orange slice for garnish
Combine apple cider, wine, honey, cinnamon stick, orange zest, orange juice and 2 star anise into large saucepan and bring to a boil.* Simmer for ten minutes. Pour into mugs (or vintage teacups if you are Gwyneth Paltrow and/or happen to have these lying around) and garnish with orange slice and one star anise.
*Bringing wine to its boiling point reduces the alcohol content by 15%, which is how I justified drinking five of these.
** My photo of mulled wine got more “likes” than any picture I posted of myself…which was frankly, upsetting.