Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Some of my fondest memories of growing up were during the fall season...Friday night football games in the bleachers, crisp, cool air, the anticipation of the holidays, neighborhood trick or treating. The list could continue for another mile or so. It's around this time that I start to miss home and the changing of seasons. Don't get me wrong, I love not having to start my car 10 minutes before I leave or spending hours shoveling snow (secretly I wouldn't mind maybe one day of that), but there is something magical that happens during the transition from summer to fall and that magic doesn't exist here in sunny South Florida. 

Let's face it, along with cooler temps, fall brings the permission to bake pumpkin everything and mix up fall inspired cocktails. So naturally when I was selecting recipes for my fall inspired portfolio shoot, I had to incorporate something pumpkin and something boozy. I decided on three of my favorite fall food groups...pumpkin, s'mores, and a cocktail best served warm, mulled red wine. For most Miami natives, the thought of drinking warm, spiced red wine is strange and maybe only reserved for the days when the temperature drops below 65 degrees and everyone pulls out their boots and scarves, but trust me, this cocktail will bring all the fall feels and is perfect for an evening in while watching Netflix, wrapped up in your favorite blanket and pjs. So turn down your A/C, grab your bestie or hubby, and give this recipe a try. 



Mulled Red Wine

Serves: 4       Time: 25 mins

-1 bottle of semi-dry red wine, favorite Cabernet Sauvignon
-2 cups of apple cider
-1/3 cup pure maple syrup
-1 apple sliced
-1 orange sliced
-4 cinnamon sticks
-3-4 stars of anise
-1 vanilla bean, split down middle
-1 teaspoon of whole cloves
-1/4 cup of brandy (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Simmer on medium heat for about 15-20 mins. (Get ready because it will make your house smell amazing.) Pour wine through fine mesh strainer.  Mix in brandy, if desired, for a little extra booziness. Serve warm with slices of apples, oranges, or a cinnamon stick.

Cheers friends!

*If making ahead of time, this could be kept in the fridge them reheated on the
stove or in crockpot.*


Photography: Michelle March      Floral Design: Julia Rohde Designs