DM Haight


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and indeed, it’s that time of the year to sit back, count our blessings, and watch It’s a Wonderful Life, the Ford Capra classic about George Bailey and his adventures in Bedford Falls.

The one thing most people remember from the film is the famous line “When you hear a bell an angel gets its wings!” And we are not here to dispute that. Possibly, indeed, an angel may get its wings with the ring of a bell. However, the angel who we assume gets his wings at the end of our story, Clarence, has a drink in mind that could give even the most earnest humbugger wings of cheer.

We speak, of course, of Clarence’s Mulled Wine.

It’s a drink that often goes forgotten this time of year. But we can’t seem to figure out why. It’s sweet, spicy, festive, citrus laced goodness that puts joy in your heart and injects good will into your soul. It’s a drink that no one should be without on a cold winter’s night (especially if you, like George Bailey, manage to alter your very existence).

Thus, here we are to deliver unto you, a recipe of cheer.

You’ll want a larger batch of this to pass around or store for later. We recommend the following:

1 Jug of Red Wine (not Sangria)

3 Cups of Granulated Sugar

1 Large Orange (peel set aside)

5 Sticks of Cinnamon

1 Small Palm Full of Whole Cloves

1.5 Cups of Brandy

In a large stockpot simmer wine with sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. We are lucky that we found a rather large tea steeper, however, if you do not have one of these bad boys, never fear; you can always plop the ingredients right in the pot. You want them to steep for a good long while to impart the most flavor you can. I let mine steep for 40 minutes, but you can steep it for as long as you like depending how much flavor you want to impart. Be sure to twist the orange peel into the pot. The oils in the peel carry tons of citrus flavor, and you want to extract the oils before they go into the pot.

Once you are finished with the steep, remove the bits (or don’t), and add the brandy. Stir well and stand back. You’ve just done Clarence proud with your mulled wine. Just look at how beautiful and robust it is. Be sure to serve it hot in a mug for those wayward travelers looking for answers to life. And be sure that if Clarence walks in, you go light on the cloves. Bailey will thank you.

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