Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mulled White Wine

“Look kiddo, we love that you want to hang out with us and that you’re comfortable enough to just drop by.  But you really need to get out more.”

“I am out.  I’m not home, I’m here.”

Mickey smirked, raised an amusedly irked eyebrow, and looked over the tops of his readers at his son on the other side of the kitchen.  “You’re handsome, young, and single.  So, when you show up on your parents’ doorstep on a Friday night with a thermos of mulled white wine, yeah, we gotta think there are better places for you to be.”

“What?  Where else do I have to be?  Besides, I feel so English and lord-of-the-medieval-manor when I drink mulled wine.  It’s a payoff of your investment in my MA.  Plus, you have the best goblets to drink it from.”  He clinked is father’s chalice and sipped.  “What do you think about the pear in it?”  

“Ok, let’s quit dancing around this elephant here, shall we?  So it didn’t work out with Theo.  That was Theo —“

“Here we go!”

 “ — You have tons of talent and love to give someone —“

“— ‘And we know there’s a guy out there who will connect with you and you with him.’”  
“That’s right.  But you’re not going to find him hanging out with your folks on prime club nights.  Get your ass out of here and out on Halsted!” 

“Really, dad?  Get my ass out on Halsted?”

“Yeah," he winked, "get your ass out on Halsted.”


“Oh, look who’s here.”  Gina came into the kitchen adjusting a bangle earring and kissed Christopher on the cheek.  “Is it Friday already?”

“Perfect.  Take your son with you.” 

“Nope.  It’s girls’ night with a mission.  I can only handle one broken-hearted depressive at a time."

“Nice,” said Chris, and raised his glass in a sarcastic air toast to his mother.  “Besides, I do not want to spend an evening with that Trixie bitch, Katie.”

“A master’s in English, the entire language at your command, and that’s the word you choose to describe a woman.  What did we get for our investment?”

“Mulled wine on a cold night delivered right to our door,” Mickey retorted, pouring her one.  "Served in goblets!"

Gina pinched Chris’s scruffy chin affectionately.  “Sweety, get your ass out on Halsted.”  

Mulled White Wine
2 t. black pepper corns
2 t. whole cloves
1 bottle pinot grigio
1/8 c. granulated sugar
1 small bunch sage
1 small bunch thyme
Rind and 2 T. juice from 1 lemon
1 c. pear eau de vie or brandy
1 firm, ripe pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Place the peppercorns and cloves in a  medium saucepan.  Stir over a medium heat until fragrant, approx. 2 minutes.  

Add wine, sugar sage, thyme, and lemon rind and juice.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.  Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids.  Return mixture to saucepan and stir in eau de vie or brandy and pear slices.  Simmer over medium low heat until pears are fork-tender but still retain their shape, about 8-10 minutes.  Serve placing several slices of pear in each glass as garnish.


  1. Now I want to know what Halsted is? I'm guessing that is the Chicago version of the Castro? ... loving the stories, and does make me want to try this. I've only ever tried mulled red wine - didn't realize that people did that with white? but with pear ... that sounds delicious!

  2. Yup, you got it. Halsted is the main drag of Boystown -- Chicago's Castro, Greenwich Village, what have you. Click the Halsted link in the post for more info. I usually mull red. But the white is a nice, lighter touch. It's a great sipper of the lighter fruits -- pear, apple, green grape, lemon. Delicious!

  3. White Mulled...intriguing. I recently made a spiced sweet potato bundt cake and substituted cloves for allspice and ooo lala was it good! so the cloves and peppercorns peaked my interest here. Love the parents teetering the line between parents and friends. And Love the connection to the other story. The thread connecting the whole city...separate stories, but and all.


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