The Winter Tipple


Pairs With:

The Winter Riddle by Sam Hooker (also goes nicely with ginger snaps)


This was actually a guest cocktail by the man himself! Mr. Hooker of Black Spot Books decided to take a crack at his own cocktail for this novel and I have to say, it’s rather splendid. I’m a big fan of gluhwein and not only is Sam’s recipe legit, it’s the perfect pairing for this fabulous festive tale. Cheers!


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Cloves
  • 1 750 ml bottle of dry red wine (e.g., Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Brandy
Dissolve the sugar in the water, bring to a boil in a sauce pan, then reduce to a simmer. Add the cinnamon stick. Cut the orange in half, squeeze the juice from both halves into the mixture. Push cloves into the orange halves (all over, about 1/2” apart) and put them in the mixture. Simmer 30 minutes.
Heat the wine in another (larger) sauce pan, to near boiling. Remove from heat.  Throw out the orange halves, move the cinnamon stick to the wine sauce pan, and strain the mixture into the wine through a fine wire mesh.
Add 1 oz brandy to 8 oz mulled wine in an earthenware (or Irish coffee) mug.
Happiest of holidays to you all!

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