Hot Elder Wine

Tangy, sweet-tart elderberry wine may have been the homemade base for the drink that circulated so freely in Dicken's novel, or perhaps it was the more subtle, floral wine made from elderflowers. Neither is readily available these days though the taste can be approximated with Stoney Ridge's excellent cranberry wine . Experimenting with spices, I found the cinnamon-ginger combination effective.

Hot Elder Wine

Photo by Cathy T.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 1

    bottle Cranberry wine

  • 3

    tbs (45 mL) sugar

  • ¼

    cup (50 mL) brandy

  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • ½-inch (1-cm) stick of cinnamon


Combine ingredients in a pan. Stirring, heat almost to boiling point. Do not allow to boil. Let cool a little. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Ladle into glasses.


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