I said I was gone for the holidays, but clearly, I lied. It happens. I don’t mean to but I get things wrong from time to time. I mean it may not even be a lie, maybe I was just mistaken? I figured I’d be super busy today and not have time to do anything before we headed over the river and through the woods to visit the in-laws for Thanksgiving, but then time to kill happened. Which is how we find ourselves here again, gathered virtually for a drink and the requisite words. So, in the spirit of unexpected moments of leisure and the occasional need for a do over, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the excellent Mull Again.

Remember way back in yesterday when we made Mulled Wine? Well, there was a method to my madness. We are going to use some that leftover wine to make a super flavorful syrup and instead of having to share the recipe here, I can just point back at that one. Two great, interconnected recipes for the price of one, plus a dollar. This cocktail is very loosely based on the beautiful New York Sour, with its signature red wine float. It is an inspired riff that updates the classic for the holiday season created by Joe Dougherty at Nashville’s Corsair Distillery. I departed from his original spirit choice and was rewarded with an excellent drink that would have been even better if I had just listened to him in the first place.

Grab your tins and toss in 1 1/2 ounces of gin; the original calls for Corsair Barrel Aged Gin, but I opted for Botanist Islay Gin to experiment with its unique herbal recipe. Next up is a very special ingredient, that mulled wine syrup. I used equal parts of Joe Dougherty’s mulled wine recipe I shared previously and sugar to make the syrup. To that add 1/2 an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice a stab of El Guapo Holiday Pie Bitters and one egg white or 1/2 an ounce of aquafaba, if you lean that way. Pop those tins together and give it a dry shake to the beat of “Thinking ‘Bout You” by Dua Lipa. After 20-30 seconds, break your tins apart carefully, in case any pressure has built up and add some of that artisanal ice before going for a second shake. When well chilled strain into a coupe, top with Framboise Lambic and garnish with some freshly grated nutmeg.

This is some kind of wonderful. I am not usually a big fan of that framboise lambic, but it picks up on the spices in that mulled wine and really brings this one home. I enjoy that super complex Botanist Gin, but honestly, it may be a little too extra here. As goods this one is, it was definitely better with Corsair Barrel Aged Gin, so make it that way, for a more nuanced experience. Still, a damned fine drink.

I haven’t played much golf in a long time and had practically forgotten the term “mulligan”. For the uninitiated, it is defined as “a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known use is in golf, whereby it refers to a player being allowed, informally, to replay a stroke, although that is against the formal rules of golf.” I like the idea of the mulligan, in informal society, after all, most of us deserve and need a second chance to get things right.

It would have been seriously clever of me to make this drink with a different gin and then have to restart and do it over again in order to lean into this drink’s “oh so clever” name. That did not happen, but wouldn’t it be cool if it had? Of course, that could be exactly what occurred and now I am launching into fall modesty and self deprecation only to reinforce my cleverness through reverse psychology, which we all know doesn’t work anyway…or does it? At this point, even I am not sure of my motives, so we might as well jump to the coda and tie things up as best we can.

As lovely as this time of year can be, it is also challenging for most of us. Seeing certain people or not seeing them can be stressful, depending on your point of view. When that happens, it is important to remember that this too shall pass and do your best to muddle through. It is also a time when old hurts and perceived slights can bubble up from nowhere. Now, I am not saying to overlook abuses or suffer abusers. I am saying that most slights are accidental and to be mindful of opportunities for forgiveness. So, if it makes sense to do so, take a long sip of your Mull Again and give folks a mulligan. We all need second chances and I am thankful that sometimes we get them, whether we deserve them or not. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.