For millennia, gourds have been fashioned into canteens for water, wine and everything in between. It is with this storied history in mind that we’re about to turn a big ol’ pumpkin into a vessel for some mulled wine so we can get our friends drunk.
What you need for the bowl
1 large pumpkin
Sharp, serrated knife Heat-proof bowl
What you need for the mulled wine
6 cloves, plus more for garnish
2 bottles red wine
60 ml (¼ cup) brandy
115 g (½ cup) brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
Step 1: Carve the vessel
Find a huge-ish pumpkin, big enough to hold an 8-cup capacity bowl. Slice a thin layer off the base to ensure it sits flat on a table. Hollow out the inside of the pumpkin, so that your heat-proof bowl sits inside it comfortably. Set aside.
Step 2: Make the booze
Cut one orange into slices then half-moon slices, then pierce each wedge with 2 cloves to garnish and set aside. Juice the two remaining oranges. Place the juice, wine, brandy, sugar, cinnamon sticks, 6 cloves and star anise into a saucepan.
With caution (alcohol is highly flammable, remember), heat over a medium heat until steaming, then reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 5 minutes. The wine will become more richly spiced the longer you simmer it, so taste along the way and remove from the heat when you’re happy with the flavor.
Step 3: Serve
Carefully pour the hot punch into the prepared bowl. Ladle the wine into heat-proof glasses, serving with a clove-studded orange slice to garnish. Mull together with friends and enjoy. This amount should serve roughly 10 people.
Oh My Gourd by Jack Hallow, published by Smith Street Books, US $19.95 / CAN $26.95, available 5 September 2023 Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo / Zoonar GmbH