This Mabon, celebrate the transition to fall with this recipe for autumn offering wine.
Offering wine is a wine or libation made to honor a specific holiday or spell intention. The process of making it is as sensual and enjoyable as the act of drinking it.
Traditional fall spices like cinnamon, star anise, and cloves warm the spirit and the home. Bright orange citrus notes & tangy cranberry balance the earthy, rich tones of brandy. It all comes together for a deep, flavorful cauldron brew that’s perfect for a cool night by the fire.
Each of the ingredients was chosen for its magical association with the season of autumn and its theme of abundance.
The offering of red wine in ritual is civilizations-old traditional extending back into early Christianity, and before that, ancient Egypt, Israel and Sumar.
In particular, the offering of red wine to the dead by pouring it on the ground is a special practice that many practitioners share with spiritual traditions around the world. In many modern magical traditions, the season beginning on the Fall Equinox and extending to the night of Samhain is sacred to the practitioner’s relationship with her ancestors.
For all these reasons, red wine is the base ingredient in this recipe, and it makes a perfect wine for libation this time of year.
Cranberries symbolizes the River of Life that flows through the veins of each of us. This deep red fruit is sometimes used as a blood substitute in magic that calls for it (which is not nearly as creepy—or uncommon in mainstream spiritual practice—as it sounds).
It’s especially associated with the harvest festivals to represent an abundant harvest.
There are many magical uses for oranges, but it has special meaning in fall recipes as a representation of the waning light. Its rich, vibrant color resembles the fall sun filtering through the burnt orange of autumn leaves.
Fall spices like star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg fill the hearth and the home with the aroma of autumn. Invest in quality spices! They have many uses in magic. Once you learn to work with them, you’ll find yourself reaching for them over and over!
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 2 oranges
- 1 cup cranberries
- 4 whole star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Additional orange slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
- Slice one of the oranges into thin rounds. Cut the other orange in half and squeeze the juice into a large pot or saucepan.
- Add the sliced oranges, cranberries, star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and grated nutmeg to the pot with the orange juice.
- Pour the red wine into the pot and place it over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, but avoid boiling.
- Once the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat to low and let it infuse for about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to help the flavors meld together.
- After the flavors have been infused, add the brandy to the pot and stir well. Taste the mulled wine and add maple syrupp if desired, adjusting the sweetness to your preference.
- Continue to heat the mulled wine over low heat for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.
- Once the mulled wine is heated through, strain the mixture to remove the solid ingredients, such as the fruit and spices. You can use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth for this step, but I just use a large spoon to “block” the spices as I pour out the brew.
- Serve the spiced mulled wine warm in heatproof glasses or mugs. Garnish each serving with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick, if desired.
Enjoy this sacred autumn treat with friends, and don’t forget to pour a little on the ground for a loved one on the other side of the veil!