Mulled Red Wine Cranberry Sauce feat. Chaga Chai
Holiday Herb Recipes
By Summer Ison
Place 1C red wine in a small/medium pot. Sprinkle 1/8-1/4 C Chaga Chai (loose herbs of ground Chaga mushrooms, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Roasted Chicory, and Cayenne) into wine and infuse on low heat for at least 15 minutes. If you are at all like me, you will be multi-tasking and forget about it (don't worry this only makes it better). Then suddenly you will smell something amazing and return to it with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning- because mulled wine is the equivalent of hot cocoa for adults. If you are still busy with your multi- tasks, or are at the other end of the spectrum and have planned ahead more than necessary (good for you, you overachiever!), you can turn off the heat and it will only become richer with time.
When you are good and ready, strain the wine through a fine mesh such as cheesecloth and return to the pot with enough water to make 2C total liquid. It should smell like heaven on earth. Add 1lb whole fresh cranberries. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer gently.
While they are simmering, add about 1/2 C maple syrup and 1/2 C maple sugar (if you have it). If not, any sugar or honey will do. You may add more sweetener if you like but I prefer to maintain some tartness because, well, isn't that what we love about cranberries? Add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of cinnamon and simmer, stirring occasionally until it froths.
Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Use a potato masher to crush the cranberries until it is a nice saucy consistency. Taste it! Adjust sugar and cinnamon to your liking.
Serve hot or chilled. Eat it on pretty much everything until it's gone. (Sourdough toast, oatmeal, yogurt, ice-cream, turkey sandwiches etc etc) Or if you are a thoughtful generous person, share it with those you love. You can always make more ❤