Mulled Wine Milkshakes

Mulled wine milkshakes 4

A week until Christmas… how did this happen? I know the day is coming close when I find myself nibbling leftover cheese and fruitcake for breakfast and sipping mulled wine that has reduced on the stovetop to the point of being intensely fruity and spicy – this year it reminded me of the red wine milkshakes my friend Dana used to make some 10 years ago.

Mulled wine milkshakes 3

I’ve picked up the essentials – a dark fruitcake my mom baked, a box of Quality Street chocolates, enough butter to not run out, the Robertson’s Thick Cut Marmalade my grandma used to say was essential for the success of her Marmalade Cookies (“it gives them that extra zip!” is handwritten on her recipe card). I picked it up at London Drugs, of all places – at Christmas I find it a great source of British specialties like HobNobs, Cadbury Fingers and obscure “gourmet” ingredients like truffle oil and Rose Lime Cordial, which is perfect for adding to sparkling water or cocktails – I like to put a bottle out at the makeshift bar beside our sink, alongside grenadine to make the kids’ Shirley Temples. (It also, by the way, makes fab lime milkshakes.)

Robertson's thick cut

Do you remember that episode of Family Ties (I believe it was A Keaton Christmas Carol, 1983 – totally dating myself, I know) where Alex finds himself lacking the Christmas spirit, and in the end goes last-minute shopping on Christmas eve at 7-11 or some such? I always feel a little Alex P. Keaton when shopping for Christmas gifts at a drugstore, but London Drugs is a great source of kitchen gadgets at lower prices than you’d find in most cookware shops. I’ve run there many times before a show in need of a skillet or hot plate or some such… and that’s where I picked up my pizzelle iron that we use every year to make Belgian stroopwafels. London Drugs heard me talking about it (apparently there are a lot of people looking for British eats at this time of year) and asked me to take a look at what they have and come up with a Christmas list for people who like to cook and eat – it turned into my for-real Christmas week shopping list:

For a few of my favourite cooking people, I’m buying a pressure cooker. (The 5.5 L Fresco Pressure Cooker is $29.99.) These are not your grandma’s pressure cookers – the new generation of pressure cookers are safe, explosion-free and will cook your food in about a third the time of the oven or stovetop. The pressure cooker is the new slow cooker… for real. And the best part – no one seems to have one yet! Hello foodie gift opportunity.

For my mom, who goes through crazy amounts of soda water, the Soda Stream Jet Soda Maker ($89.99) – everyone I know who has one seems to love it. I think of it not as a means of making your own pop, but soda water (think of the flavour potential) to drink straight-up, for cocktails or homemade fizzy juices when you want to ditch pop. W is starting to ask for pop – this may delay the inevitable for awhile.

For my sis, who brings lunch to work every day (Ali, stop reading now) the Crock Pot Lunch Cooker ($16.99) – you can leave the warming base at work and take the removable food container home to fill with soup or leftovers. Brilliant, no?

For Mike, a Krups Deluxe Burr Grinder ($69.99), because we got a beautiful manual espresso machine last year, and every barista I’ve talked to insists that a burr grinder is essential – it uses steel burrs to grind coffee without heating the beans with friction or shattering them like traditional coffee grinders can. For his Mom, a Hamilton Beach single-cup coffee maker ($49.99) that doesn’t use pods (can’t stand all that excess packaging!) – she can scoop in her own favourite ground coffee and make just one cup.

For myself – a Cuisinart SmartStick Hand Blender ($49.99) – because mine finally kicked the bucket, and it’s one of my most-used kitchen tools. It allows you to puree soups right in the pot, but also makes easy, flawless mayonnaise, milkshakes and smoothies. Love it.

Also worth noting: they carry the KitchenAid BeaterBlade for stand mixers – honestly, this saved my KitchenAid stand mixer. For years it stood on my counter unused because the whip and paddle attachments didn’t go all the way to the bottom of the bowl, and left a half inch of unmixed batter on the bottom. A year or so I had to order mine online, but I noticed they have them at London Drugs – the bottom of the bowl is scraped with each turn of the blade. I use mine for almost everything I use my stand mixer for.

Mulled wine milkshakes 2

And guess what – London Drugs has contributed a Cuisinart SmartStick Hand Blender for me to give away, so that you can make mulled wine milkshakes, too. To enter, you know the drill – leave a comment here – maybe let us know what’s on your holiday baking list this year? These milkshakes came about as means of using up the last of the mulled wine after a weekend party – I cooked it down, cooled it, and blended it with vanilla ice cream for a pale purple, citrusy winter sipper.

Mulled wine milkshakes 1

(I believe ice cream is a year-round food.) If you want to start from scratch, here’s how:

Mulled Wine Milkshakes

with thanks to Dana McCauley, and her Summer 2001 newsletter

2 cups red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
a few whole cloves
a few allspice berries (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
vanilla ice cream

Combine the red wine, sugar, orange juice, cloves, allspice and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 30-45 minutes, or until reduced by a half or so. Pour the mixture through a sieve to strain out the spices and cool completely, then refrigerate until cold.

Blend ice cream and reduced mulled wine to taste in a blender until it’s the consistency you like – I’d go for about 2 parts ice cream to 1 part wine reduction. Serve in frosty glasses.

Thanks to London Drugs, a company that started in Vancouver in 1945 – Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra era – for helping make this post happen. Of course all Christmas shopping and gift picking was done by me! And I could have shopped more… there was also a panini press, and a heavy-duty flip-over waffle iron, and a few other gadgety things I don’t have yet…

NOTE: our contest has wrapped up – congratulations to Evelyn, and happy holidays to all!

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December 18 2012 04:00 pm | beverages

60 Responses to “Mulled Wine Milkshakes”

  1. Connie on 18 Dec 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    This year I’m trying to perfect the most melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie ever! And also am a tad excited because I just purchased a cookie press and am hoping to surprise my friends with homemade goodies of all sorts. I love the holidays!

  2. Jan on 18 Dec 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    I’ll be making phyllo mincemeat tarts. They are always a hit and much lighter than traditional pastry – which I’ll be saving for tourtiere!

  3. Erica B. on 18 Dec 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    I love London Drugs! The only place I know of to get Lotus Biscoff Cookies for making: :)

  4. Joanne on 18 Dec 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    I’m going to be trying gluten-free pastry this year using almond meal–wish me luck!

  5. Shena on 18 Dec 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    This year I will be making lemon tarts, butter tarts, and lemon squares for sure. Other than that, it’s more cooking than baking, since I’m hosting the turkey dinner on Boxing Day. But hey, that means I keep the leftovers!

  6. Donna on 18 Dec 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Brown sugar fudge is a fav in our house and jam jam cookies.

  7. Elizabeth on 18 Dec 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    I made some gluten free whipped shortbread tonight, turned out pretty good! Also made Peanut butter balls (!!) and the coconut candy squares from the Holiday Gourmet…. Browned Butter Maple Walnuts have been a BIG hit (think maple walnut fudge, less fudge, more walnuts)!

  8. Elizabeth on 18 Dec 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Also think we may have to try those mulled wine milkshakes, maybe with coconut ‘icecream’?

  9. JudyK on 18 Dec 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Sugar cookies in the shape of bears, owls and bluejays, all decorated for Christmas!

  10. Nicole on 18 Dec 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Ooohhh – I sort of love London Drugs and now I have a good excuse to go and poke around. Perhaps a “To Nicole Love Nicole” gift of that beater blade is in order. Merry Christmas!

  11. delaine on 18 Dec 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Sugar cookies!! With lots and lots of sprinkles thanks to my two little helpers.

  12. Jennifer Jo on 18 Dec 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    We’re getting ready to move to Guatemala for 9 months, so there’s not as much baking going on as normal. Still, there will be gingerbread, and maybe (hopefully) toffee bark.

  13. Beth C on 18 Dec 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    I like that you mentioned the Fresco brand pressure cooker. I own two sizes of the Fresco brand frying pans (8inch and 12)and they are awesome. Perfect weight and quality for someone starting out who wants something better than gross teflon but can’t afford the really high end ones.

  14. Aga on 18 Dec 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    It wouldn’t be Christmas without mincemeat tarts and Nanaimo bars, and the dense and delicious fruitcake my husband makes.

  15. LJR on 18 Dec 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Not so much sweet stuff but made a batch of your Kale Spanakopita – maybe even a double – for my “after school” charges and froze them for snacks during the holidays! They are delicious and ‘specially so with a few gratings of nutmeg!!!!!

    Stealing your idea for your sister of the Crock-Pot Lunch Cooker for school for my DIL – hope they have a plug for it in her teacher’s lunch room!

    You inspire me all the time, Julie.

    All the best to you and your family.

  16. kate on 18 Dec 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Some citrus sugar cookies and chocolate shortbread, and have some home made vanilla to give out as gifts!

  17. Anne on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Every December I make dozens (hundreds?) of Gingerbread Men. My husband and son are high school teachers and they give one to each of their students.

  18. Jocelyn on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Hi! I was going to comment before I knew there was a contest (I don’t want you to think I only comment when there’s a contest).

    THIS IS SUCH A GREAT LIST! I’m intrigued by your forecast that the pressure cooker is the new slow cooker. AND THE SLOW COOKER LUNCH POT is so great. Love.

    I’m not baking this year but I’m going to make Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait!

  19. Leslie on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    I’m making (made actually) lemon angel wings and will make peanut butter kiss cookies

  20. Amy on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    This year my BFF and I celebrated 35 consecutive years of making her Mom’s dark fruit cake together. The recipe calls for those big fat muscat raisins Sun-Maid used to sell that are no longer available. We keep experimenting to try and replace them (without great success). Just the same, nothing beats dark, heavy fruit cake and some fine Sherry.

  21. trudie lazaruk on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    I like to make “Eatmore Cookies”, which are amazingly easy and delicious. Cut Eatmore chocolate bars into 6 pieces, place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, and bake in a 325 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. They spread and become crispy like Florentines. Nobody will guess what’s in them!!

  22. JulieVR on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Eatmore cookies?! No way! Those are definitely being made over the holidays!

  23. rachael s on 18 Dec 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    we’ve made Jamacian Rum Cake, with rasins, currents and cherries all soaked in rum -delish!!

  24. Eileen on 18 Dec 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    On my baking list this year and for all years to come: peanut butter chocolate pretzel bites (think square pretzels with a PB concoction sandwiched in between and then dipped in chocolate). Addictive little gems!

  25. margo on 18 Dec 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    I have made some biscotti to send to Victoria, and next on the list is Maple Walnut shortbread, and some Toblerone Fudge. Then I have to hunker down on the savory foods like Tourtiere. Oh, but I do want to make little ginger cheesecakes in mason jars for Christmas dessert.

  26. Allison E. on 18 Dec 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Stump de Noel for Christmas Eve and sticky buns for Christmas gifts!

  27. Tara on 18 Dec 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    So far I’ve made eggnog snickerdoodles, peppermint meringue kisses, butterscotch gingerbread, almond crunch (tastes like homemade skor bar), and my new favourite, maple cinnamon pecans! I must say these are so yummy and easy to make, they are a definite keeper. Thanks so much, Julie, for the great recipe. Really enjoy your blog!

  28. portable toilet hire on 19 Dec 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Nice recipe. I love your blog and really enjoy your posts. I made Sugar cookies this weekend and my kids loved them.

  29. happy geek on 19 Dec 2012 at 1:48 am #

    Made chocolate gingerbread cookies, white chocolate popcorn, butterscotch pumpkin loaf and will be making cherry cheese cake (hubs can’t have xmas without it) and butter tarts and if I get ambitious, sweet rolls for xmas morning.

  30. April on 19 Dec 2012 at 1:56 am #

    I have trimmed my usual 15 item baking list down to 11 and of course, found an additional 4 or 5 new ones to try. Finished making my chocolate surprise cupcakes yesterday and tomorrow is butter tart day (the 2 items I am not allowed to eliminate or replace).

  31. Carolyn on 19 Dec 2012 at 5:14 am #

    Florentine Bars from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook were made this year. Also, 2 kinds of fruitcake!

  32. Jacqueline on 19 Dec 2012 at 6:59 am #

    Love London Drugs… I live right next door to one in Calgary! When I am home in Nova Scotia this year I will make Nanaimo bars and my mom’s shortbread recipe!

  33. rose on 19 Dec 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Hi Julie,

    I love London drugs for gift buying! Also, because of your post, I will buy the soda maker for my daughter. She’s been wanting one and I had forgotten.

    Eatmore cookies??? That’ll be my ‘baking’…..


  34. Norah McCann on 19 Dec 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Scottish shortbread has been made for family and friends. Merry Christmas Julie and all the best in 2013.

  35. Susan on 19 Dec 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Hi Julie,
    Our family has been going to London Drugs for years to get stocking stuffers and last minute gifts. they have so many unique items.
    Am happy to report that the family favorite Pecan Bars are already in the freezer for the holiday.
    Best wishes to you and yours !

  36. Tara S on 19 Dec 2012 at 8:36 am #

    I love love love candy cane bark and peanut butter balls. I’ll definitely be trying the mulled wine milkshake!

  37. Peggy Doyle on 19 Dec 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Thank you for the tip about the Beater Blade. I don’t use my Kitchen Aid as much as I should because of it leaving all the unmixed ‘stuff’ at the bottom. BTW,I am baking lots of Gluten Free goodies this year, they are new to me and hoping they turn out well.

  38. Ellen on 19 Dec 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I’m looking forward to picking up a replacement beater for my mixer – recently the coating on mine has begun peeling off and I’m not too crazy about using it like that! I haven’t been baking much, as we’re travelling this year, but I made your rain coast crisps for a potluck last week, and am also mixing up a big batch of dutch meat croquettes.

  39. Donna on 19 Dec 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Light Fruitcake is made. Need to make more shortbread and maybe some ninja shaped gingerbread men. My son is moving into his own place and needs a hand blender..
    Must remember to thaw the turkey…
    Why does December speed up the closer you get to Christmas?
    Merry Christmas everyone.

  40. Ev on 19 Dec 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I also have a fascination for shopping at London Drugs. Inherited by my mother I think.
    This year, a bunch of us that work together at The Coup decided to get together and my our own baileys(so easy!!) as Christmas gifts. This weekend along with all my other baking, I’m going to make different flavoured marshmallows! First time, hope it works out!
    Thanks for your article, ill have to check out all these other products at LD!

  41. Michelle on 19 Dec 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Every year my mother and I have a Christmas baking weekend, and each year the list of cookies grows as we add new and keep the old favourites. This year’s gold star winner: gingersnaps, half dipped in white chocolate with a few slivers of candied ginger on top.

  42. Heather on 19 Dec 2012 at 10:29 am #

    London Drugs is our go-to store, too!
    On the baking list? This morning, sugar cookies, and then some gluten-free shortbread.

  43. Ruth on 19 Dec 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Already Baked: Scandinavian almond bars, macaroons, lebkuchen, sugar cookies (Marion’s from your site, they were great!) and almond biscotti. Still to make: more lebkuchen, chocolate and sea salt nut brittle, and dulce de leche brownies

  44. Denese on 19 Dec 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Tried chocolate cocoa nib shortbread last night – it turned out not too sweet, and very deeply chocolate. It may become the new favorite.

  45. Heather on 19 Dec 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Definitely trying the Eat More cookies! Does melting chocolate count as baking? I still have to make White Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry bark.

  46. Val on 19 Dec 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    This year we made peanut butter blossoms, jam thumbprint cookies, ginger crinkles, lemon bars and cranberry walnut short bread!

  47. Renee on 19 Dec 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Oh Lord, where do I begin? Right now my two faves are chocolate shortbread with cacao nibs and sea salt (divine) and white chocolate & rosemary cranberry blondies (yes!). I’m a huge fan of LD too – I always find something amazing in the aisles.

  48. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) on 19 Dec 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    This gadget is on my wish list. Had one years ago but haven’t one in years. This Christmas I have been working on my decorated sugar cookies. But my best was Pecan Bourbon Tarts.

  49. KT on 19 Dec 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I’m making gumdrop cake!

  50. Gena on 19 Dec 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    I have made Butter Tarts, Caramel Pecan Shortbread, Merange Cookies, Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Bark, Almond Roca, Chocolate a gingerbread Cake.
    I think I am ready!

  51. Cathy Norrie on 19 Dec 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    I have duly transferred many of your ideas to our family’s Facebook Group “Xmas Wish List Central” and hopefully my Secret Santa will act on it…pronto! I can’t imagine how busy you are Julie. Thanks for a great posting (as always@).

    Cath from Inglewood

  52. Cathy Norrie on 19 Dec 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Oh and I just made some lovely mini mince tarts and tomorrow shortbread is on the to do list :)


  53. Mar Hein on 19 Dec 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    baking is on hold till after Christmas & the New Year, due to a separated shoulder, thus my left arm is in a sling for 2 to 6 weeks from Dec 10th. groan. Grrrr!!! so Jan look out for my baking. :)

  54. Erina on 20 Dec 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I am attempting a gingerbread house this year with my 3 year-old daughter! I will be trying your gingerbread recipe, intrigued by the orange flavour!!!

  55. Mary Ann on 20 Dec 2012 at 9:59 am #

    My Christmas baking this year has fallen behind thanks to a stomach flu that left our family of three out of commission for an entire week :( I’m trying to get my Christmas shopping done by the weekend so that I have time to bake a few favourites; butter tart squares, Toblerone shortbread, Peppermint ‘mooseballs’ and some kind of cutout cookie I hope!

  56. jenna on 20 Dec 2012 at 10:20 am #

    I am a wee bit behind on the baking front but we always manage to make yummy gingerbread people, monsters, stars and whatever the boys create, decorated with interesting sweets from a local european deli called Runges. So fun and delicious!
    Would love a hand blender for soups! Merry Christmas!!

  57. EJN on 20 Dec 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Not much baking done yet (there are still a few days to go!) but I do have the stuffing made and frozen for our large farm-raised chickens we are roasting instead of turkey, the cranberry sauce ready, meringues in tins for the Eton Mess, and some Black Currant Butter to use on something (used up the egg yolks from the meringues). My daughter has the pistachio.cranberry biscotti ready to bake. It will happen! A hand blender would be a lovely addition to the kitchen. Enjoy the time and thanks for a great website, Julie!

  58. Jeanie on 20 Dec 2012 at 11:17 am #

    I love LD. But alas there are none where I live in Ontario now. I hope to make pumpkin rolls! I’ve been delaying for weeks now because the process seems intimidating. But I resolve to try making one before Christmas.

  59. Jen D on 20 Dec 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    So far, I’ve made Spicy Chocolate Diablo Cookies inspired by Tacofino in Tofino, Caramel Popcorn, Salted Toffee Pretzel Bark, and Christmas Crunch (Golden Grahams, almonds, and dried cranberries coated in white chocolate). Still on my list is my great-grandma’s gingersnaps and more spicy chocolate cookies.

  60. Kelly J on 20 Dec 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    I’ve made Bonnie Stern’s Luscious Lemon Squares – with beautiful Meyer lemons. One batch for Xmas and one for Xmas potluck @ work. Yum-O. Will also be making Chocolate Triple Hazelnut Truffles from Cooking Light. And the ultimate Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing for DS. Merry Christmas to you and your family Julie. All the best in 2013!

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