When Erik and I went to Tokyo (aka my favourite place in the world) in 2015, we stumbled upon THE raddest bar ever.
Bar Black Sheep.
If you are in Tokyo (Shibuya), you really have to go. It’s the very first place Erik & I would tell everyone where to go in Tokyo when they ask for reccs. It saddens me to say this, but they have now closed. You can check it out here though.
Pretty much, it was a cozy little bar that is owned by a Shibu Inu.
Erik and I went on our last night in Tokyo and really wish we discovered it earlier. When we were there, the specialty cocktail was mulled wine. It was heated in a crockpot to enjoy all day. There was just something so cozy about being in Tokyo in the winter, warming up with a spicy mulled wine with my love.
Fast forward to Halloweekend 2016.
Erik had to go to the midwest so I was solo all weekend. For those who do not know, Halloween is my favourite holiday and I used to take it VERY seriously. I’m talking, November 1st, I am planning my costume, and planning it to the extreme. This year, I’ll confess, I had my costume planned and everything, but I slacked off a bit too much and couldn’t find the dress. Bummer.
On Friday, I went to The Magician + Aston Shuffle… only to realize I really can’t hang like I used to. In fact, I spent all day Saturday at home recovering and meal-planning for the week (team no carryout still going strong).
My big raging plans on Saturday was to take it back to Tokyo – really, my happy place – and cozy up with some mulled wine + my black cat as I watch American Horror Story: Hotel.
SPEAKING OF, I know I am late to the AHS game but I love, love, love Gaga in it. She is phenomenal. I’m very much a creepster, but I was reading all about H.H. Holmes all week. His story is extremely dark but as fascinating as it is dark. My colleague told me that AHS: Hotel was very much inspired by Holmes’s Murder Hotel. I highly recommend reading this – a phenomenal write up. (For those unaware, super cliff notes version Holmes – which isn’t his real name – was a major scam artist and built a hotel designed specifically to kill anyone who stayed and later sold the skeletons and I’m literally just scratching the surface)
Anyways, I figured that little creepy tidbit made it perfect for Halloween.
And some red wine, of course.
I feel like Red Wine is really just the perfect Halloween drink.
If you’re going as a vampire, it can be your chalice of blood to drink. Easy costume there, right? Seriously, easy af costume idea: vampire fangs, crimson lips, and a glass of red wine.
I had a jar of mulling spices from William Sonoma so I put it to use. However, you can really make your own – all you need are the typical warming spices: cinnamon, all spice, anise, cloves, orange peel, pepper corns (honestly, you could use the same exact spices as my Pumpkin Spice Bourbon). Put them all in a cheesecloth or a tea strainer, add some sugar, and simm-simma.
Nore: I advise against using the powdered spices or it will make your wine murky. Plus, using the spices whole really gets the essential oils out of them. As you know, I don’t use regular sugar. Only coconut sugar for me (read more about that here). So I subbed white sugar for the coconut sugar. Plus, it has a nuttier, toasty, cozy flavour to it.
It’s as simple as can be. On a very low simmer, dissolve the sugar in the red wine & heat for at least 20 minutes. Easy.
Serve in a glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick, orange peel, star anise, or all of the above.
Done. Also, your house now smells amazing.
As far as what wine to use, same rule goes for cooking…
Use an inexpensive wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking yourself.
I used the 2014 Omen by Atlas Wine Co. Plus, it happened to go with the Halloween theme 🙂 I’d also suggest the Independent Producers Merlot.
It’s also super easy to make for a crowd, holiday dinner, or a party. Use as much wine as you need, and think 2 people per bottle and go from there. Do note it will reduce slightly as you cook it.
You can use any type of glass really: coffee mug, wine glass, glass mugs. I used my signature emoji glass I got from Wine By Design. It’s super sturdy and just my favourite. Plus, it holds a LOT. This is bad advice but you can even put it in a travel tumbler and take it outside. Hell I’m the last one to judge.
As we transition into the colder seasons and the holidays, this is perfect nightcap and is as comforting as it is easy. Give it a go & let me know what you think!
If you want to medicate it, use a CBD infused wine such as Mary Jane wines. I have not tried it yet, but I can’t wait to get my hands on a bottle. I’m actually working on a batch of medicated mulling spices. I’ll keep y’all posted.
As for pairings, a horror movie, a warm blanket, black cat snuggles, and cozying up to your love is really the best way to enjoy some sexy mulled wine.
Do you have a special mulling blend? Let me know! I’m def going to start making my own blends soon – in fact, a dehydrator is on my wishlist for so many reasons!
Cheers & Happy Halloween!