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Create a Gaudy Punchbowl for Your Next Party

For millennia, gourds have been fashioned into canteens for water, wine and everything in between. It is with this storied history in mind that we’re about to turn a big ol’ pumpkin into a vessel for some mulled wine so we can get our friends drunk.

What you need for the bowl

  • 1 large pumpkin
  • Sharp, serrated knife Heat-proof bowl

What you need for the mulled wine

  • 3 oranges
  • 6 cloves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 bottles red wine
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy
  • 115 g (½ cup) brown sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise

Step 1: Carve the vessel 

Find a huge-ish pumpkin, big enough to hold an 8-cup capacity bowl. Slice a thin layer off the base to ensure it sits flat on a table. Hollow out the inside of the pumpkin, so that your heat-proof bowl sits inside it comfortably. Set aside. 

Step 2: Make the booze 

Cut one orange into slices then half-moon slices, then pierce each wedge with 2 cloves to garnish and set aside. Juice the two remaining oranges. Place the juice, wine, brandy, sugar, cinnamon sticks, 6 cloves and star anise into a saucepan. 

With caution (alcohol is highly flammable, remember), heat over a medium heat until steaming, then reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 5 minutes. The wine will become more richly spiced the longer you simmer it, so taste along the way and remove from the heat when you’re happy with the flavor.

Step 3: Serve 

Carefully pour the hot punch into the prepared bowl. Ladle the wine into heat-proof glasses, serving with a clove-studded orange slice to garnish. Mull together with friends and enjoy. This amount should serve roughly 10 people.

Oh My Gourd by Jack Hallow, published by Smith Street Books, US $19.95 / CAN $26.95, available 5 September 2023 Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo / Zoonar GmbH

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