Day 7: Asian Style Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

I wish I had mulled wine when I was little. I also wish it was legal for me to have it at a younger age. I would have loved it during an unfortunate incident with a river on San Jacinto Mountain. I was 10 years old and my parents, unknowingly, played a horrible trick on their son. It was an important event that taught myself so many important lessons about science, culture, and parenting. The main lesson was to not stick your child outside of their normal environment and assume they will know how to adapt.


I grew up in Southern California. My life existed in an environment of desert warmness and slight haze in the morning from the coastal weather. Nowhere in that equation was their snow, ice, or freezing temperatures. However, my parents, being as amazing as they are, wanted to make sure that I had access to multiple experiences in my childhood. About two hours away from where I grew up, there was a mountain in Riverside County called San Jacinto. It was a state park that had a tramway that would take you to the peak. One winter, my parents took my brother and myself up there to play in the snow, build a snowman, have snowball fights. Well, actually my brother would throw snowballs at me while I ran around trying to dodge them. (I was told that snowball fights where played like dodge ball. I believed him).


It was a pretty awesome experience, but I only remember going twice during my childhood. The first time was with my brother and the second, and last, was just myself and my parents. My parents had asked me if I wanted to get a sled and try tobogganing for the first time. I said sure because it sounded like something fun and I knew if I said no, my parents would pressure me into trying it anyways. Plus it looked so fun on television.


I finally get to join the likes of Charlie Brown, Babs and Buster Bunny, and every other cartoon character I watched sled down a mountain with glee and happiness. I will soon understand what is so great about sledding down a mountain, wind in your hair, no rules, and pure excitement. My dad and I searched for the perfect spot for my first time. He searched for the best clearing and safest route for me to take.


After a few minutes of searching we found the perfect spot; a small hill with no trees in site. I put the round sled down on the beautifully white floor sat on top of it. With a push from my dad, I go zipping down the hill. What were probably a few feet, felt like miles. I was zipping through the forest dodging trees that where nowhere near me. The crisp breeze was blowing on my face as I dodged imaginary objects. It was an adrenaline rush and it was the best experience that a 10 year old has ever felt. I felt like I was breaking the sound barrier and was moving faster than any skier or snowboarder sharing the mountain with me. Everything was going great until I see a creek in front of me.


Now, I’m going to remind you, I don’t know anything about cold weather. Snow to me meant that when it was freezing weather outside, then snow forms. So, if there is snow, then logically it would make sense that water would also be frozen. So, therefore, the stream in front of me (which I thought was a giant river) had to be frozen over. And how cool would it be to toboggan over a frozen river? So as I see the ice getting closer and closer, I could hear my dad yelling at me to stop. I ignored it, and got closer to the stream and noticed it was flowing. So, lesson number one learned: Snow does not mean it is cold enough to freeze water.


Splash! I fell into the stream. Luckily there was a couple near by that witnessed the whole thing and helped me out of the stream. They asked if I was ok, and out of embarrassment said “Yes.”. I was actually freezing. My dad finally caught up with me and asked if I was ok. I said yes. I was still freezing.


“Why didn’t you stop the sled?”


“Because you never told me how to!”


“Why didn’t you just fall off the side of it?”


“Because the snow is cold.”


Lesson number two learned: Falling on snow is not as cold as falling in the water.


Everything after that was a little hazy. I remember my dad drying my socks and shoes on the hand drier in the locker room while my mom got me a blanket from the gift store. I don’t really remember the trip home or anything after that, except for the hot chocolate. My parents felt so bad for me that I think I had like three mugs of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream AND marshmallows on it. Lesson three learned: sledding is not fun, but when done wrong you can get hot winter beverages. I don’t drink hot chocolate anymore. Instead I drink mulled wine. But now, every time I drink a warm beverage, I remember my first attempt at sledding down a mountain.



10 oz rum

1 tsp white peppercorn

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp sichuan peppercorn

2 cloves star anise

2 sticks cinnamon sticks

3 pieces of orange peel, 1 inch

1 c sugar

2 750ml bottles medium body red wine, cabernet sauvignon



combine all ingredients in a large pot and turn on low heat

stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and wine is warmed through


-serves 8-


3 Responses to “Day 7: Asian Style Mulled Wine”

  1. 1 thefrancofly
    January 10, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Loved drinking this this holiday season. Here’s my recipe!


  2. March 8, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Sichuan peppercorns in wine. Mad! Love it though! I’ve just got a wonderful collection of peppercorns, and am going to experiment with infusion recipes – I think that grains of paradise of cubeb could work really well too….

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