Witches' Brew Recipe for Traditional Winternights / Samhain Cider & Wine
Upon the coming of Winternights , it is tradition of ours to craft a magical witches brew, essentially a hot mulled wine made with red wine or apple cider, visionary herbs, spices of the season alongside flowers upon the coming of Samhain, I use a little Mugwort Beer and a little Dream Tea herbal blend.. we gently journey into the liminal, into a place of rest and reflection. For soon we will be asked to dream, in the darker quieter time of WinterNights. The wine is perfect used as a sacred libation (to be poured upon the earth) to honour ancestral spirits.
Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) is a very powerful visionary herb and should be used with extreme caution when taken internally. Also, Mugwort should never be taken when pregnant.
The wine is traditionally brewed with:
Allspice - Clove - Orange Peel - Anise Stars - Cinnamon Sticks - Red Wine or Apple Cider - Vodka, Rum or Brandy - Fresh Oranges & Orange Peel - Fresh Apples - Pomegranate Juice
Herbs and flowers that are optional include adding very small amounts of Elderberry, Mugwort, Lavender and/or Calendula flowers. Elderberry and Mugwort should be used in very very small amounts. Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) is a very powerful visionary herb and should be used with extreme caution when taken internally. Also, Mugwort should never be taken when pregnant.
Fresh fruits are always traditionally added to the brew. Apples are sacred to witches and have been used in spells and rituals since ancient times.
In a large pot on the stove:
1 quart Burgundy, Port Wine, or red wine of your liking, or 1 quart Apple Cider, Cranberry or fruit juice.
Witches Brew including cinnamon stick(s). If you are adding other ingredients, place those herbs in a muslin bag or strain after brewing. The Samhain Brew is essentially a blend of the herbs, spices & flowers listed above. Check your herb cabinet!
1/8 cup of sugar/brown sugar or to taste
Place herbs and such into wine/cider and heat to just below boiling point. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer on low for thirty minutes to one hour
Add 1 ounce (or more to taste) of Vodka, Rum or Brandy. You can also opt to add an ounce or two of Pomegranate juice, a symbolic offering traditional at Samhain
Simmer until the desired taste is reached
Garnish with apple slices, orange slices, orange spirals, anise and cinnamon sticks.