Left-over red wine usually goes into sauces and casseroles, but from time to time, I use it for a syrup. Put equal volumes of red wine and sugar in a saucepan with a cinnamon stick, a few cloves, some nutmeg, and a spiral of orange zest. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and then strain into a clean juice bottle, and store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, bottle in glass while hot, and sterilize the bottles.
A few drops of this syrup are excellent with soft fruits. For a simple dessert, halve a ripe canteloupe melon, and scoop out the seeds. Quarter a few strawberries, and fill the centre of each melon half with them. Pour on a little syrup, and chill until required, not too long or everything in the refrigerator will smell of melon.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.