One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the traditions we bring back year after year. Maybe for your family it's the farm you always go to for that freshly cut fir tree or maybe it's the sparkling lights and old familiar ornaments you decorate it with. Or, maybe it's the holiday party you host every year that gathers friends and loved ones together. And, probably like most families, you have those special recipes that get pulled out every December, reminding you of those long ago Christmases when the season held all the magic and wonder of childhood.
Whatever your traditions, there's nothing quite like them to take us back into the hope and beauty of the Christmas season.
In light of that, I thought I'd share a favorite family recipe of ours with you:
1 cup of water
1/2 cups honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
4 whole star anise
12 whole dry cloves
2 bottles of dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup Moscato wine
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
1 Bartlett pear, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
2 lemons, preferably Meyer, sliced thinly
1. Bring water, honey, lemon zest and juice, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.
2. To serve cold: Mix spice mixture, wines, and fruit in a large pitcher. Cover, and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to large punch bowl, and serve with ice. To serve hot: Heat space mixture and wines in a large pot over low heat until heated through. Add fruit and divide among mugs.
I'd love to hear what your favorite Christmas traditions are!