Our favorite new holiday beverage is a delicious hot cider created by Mimi Booth of Ukiah, California. It's made with honey (her husband is a beekeeper in Mendocino County) and steeped with dried hibiscus blossoms as a nod to the region's Latino cooking traditions.
Sunset NOVEMBER 2006
Pour 2 cups boiling water over 1/2 cup dried hibiscus blossoms (jamaica) and let steep 5 minutes. Meanwhile, warm 4 cups pear nectar, 2 cups red wine, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 star anise over low heat. Strain hibiscus infusion into a large pitcher, add pear nectar mixture, and stir in 1/3 cup honey. Serve warm in mugs. Garnish each serving with a whole star anise and fresh pear wedges if you like.
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