To capture the true spirit of the holidays in a glass, skip the eggnog and opt for the original Victorian-era Christmas cheer, the endlessly aromatic mulled wine. “Mulled wine remains a winter staple all over Europe,” says Palma D’Orazio, owner of Palma in New York City. She recommends bringing several packets to your next party (they travel easier than a fruitcake). Here’s her recipe:
Cut a 10-inch square of muslin, cheesecloth or plain cotton fabric, and place it on a flat surface.
Halve 3 medium-sized dried figs, and place them in the center of the cloth with the dried zest of ½ orange, 2 cloves and a pinch of nutmeg.
Gather the ends of the cloth and tie securely closed with butcher’s twine. The spice packet is good for one steeping in any mulled-wine recipe.