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.more
bottle Cranberry wine
tbs (45 mL) sugar
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.