from one generation to the next
Cold, cold nights, fog rising from the river at dawn, still, sunny days and absolute tranquillity interrupted only by the occasional bird call typified our weekend bush camp late in autumn. Stripped to our tee shirt sleeves by day, donning gloves, scarves, beanies and thermal underwear at dusk, a roaring log fire warmed the exterior and spiced red wine warmed in the billy hung over the fire heated us from within. A bush camp pantry staple with our crew includes whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, sultanas, almonds, oranges, lemons and multiple bottles of cheap red plonk. You would never waste a good bottle of vino on this brew, because by the time you add sugar, fruit and spice, the fact that the base is wine is purely academic. The dregs of a billy of mulled wine have travelled the length and breadth of Australia with us, adding wine and sugar each night, fresh spices and fruit as needed, the brew has just got better with age, and it is always with regret at the end of a big trip that we discard the well seasoned mulled wine base.
1 bottle of red wine
½ cup sugar
½ orange, slices
½ lemon, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon full of whole cloves
A handful of sultanas
A handful of raw almonds
Mix all the ingredients together in a stainless steel billy or saucepan if you are at home. Slowly heat the billy, stirring at first to dissolve the sugar.
To serve, scoop up some of the sultanas and almonds with the wine.