Spiced Red Wine Syrup for Fruit and Ice Cream

Ingredients

Makes about 1 cup syrup and doubles easily

Make a glossy garnet colored syrup by simmering down red wine, sugar and spices. Store it away in the fridge and use it to dress up simple desserts. Lustrous and richly flavored, this syrup makes anything you blend it with taste grander. Try it over winter fruits, vanilla ice cream, panna cotta, gingerbread, chocolate cake, even roast duck, pork or chicken. Wine syrup originated sometime in the seventh or eighth centuries. It was court food made with the precious spices from the Spice Islands. Probably at first honey was used instead of sugar.

  • 3 cups full-bodied red wine (Zinfandel, Barolo or Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • Shredded zest of a large orange
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon black peppercorns, bruised with a mortar and pestle
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons whole anise seed, bruised with a mortar and pestle
  • 8 bay leaves, broken
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4-inch cinnamon stick, broken
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg

1. In a 12-inch skillet combine wine, sugar and spices. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes, or until syrupy. Stir often. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep 20 minutes.

2. Strain the syrup, turning it back into the pan. Boil another few minutes or until a spatula pulled across the skillet leaves a trail. Cool and refrigerate.

Copyright 1998 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Instructions

Categories: 
Desserts
Cook time: 
Yield: 
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Host Francis Lam won several awards at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Awards for his work as food writer and cookbook editor.