“My father’s side of the family is from Croatia, and my grandmother would always make mulled wine with fruit for our New Year’s Eve celebration. I substitute the fruit for the gin liqueur. Fernet-Branca has a bitter component in addition to helping ground the sweetness of the wine, while also adding a festive minty quality.” — Jessica Zigman, mixologist, Tavola Restaurant, Sea Island, Ga.
1-1/2 ounces chilled, mulled wine (recipe follows)
1 ounce Averell Damson gin liqueur
1/2 ounce Fernet-Branca
Combine ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake well. Strain into a large glass. Garnish with a small, slender orange wheel studded with cloves.
In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of a spicy red wine such as shiraz, with 1 teaspoon cloves, 6 star anises, 4 large orange peels, and 3/4 cup sugar. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Let cool and strain.