A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

mull-ing and rum-inating: thoughtful winter-time drinks

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 11, 2006

My aunt, whose blog is now one of WordPress’s Top 100 Most Read, has posted her favorite Christmas rum punch recipe: http://intlxpatr.wordpress.com/2006/12/11/christmas-punch-rum-and-rumless/.

What I love about traditional winter-time drinks is how thoughtful, how deeply reflective they are: rum punch, which must surely come from the ruminative mood into which it puts the late evening drinker, and my favorite, mulled cider.

Wordreference.com defines the verb “to mull” as follows:

B verb
  1 chew over, think over, meditate, ponder, excogitate, contemplate, muse, reflect, mull, mull over, ruminate, speculate
    reflect deeply on a subject; “I mulled over the events of the afternoon”; “philosophers have speculated on the question of God for thousands of years”; “The scientist must stop to observe and start to excogitate”
    Category Tree: think; cogitate; cerebrate

chew over, think over, meditate, ponder, excogitate, contemplate, muse, reflect, mull, mull over, ruminate, speculate

introspect

theologize; theologise

premeditate

(http://www.wordreference.com/definition/mull)

The OED, which offers six distinct definition sets for mull, has this to say (from the fourth set):

1.

a. intr. U.S. To allow a problem to be resolved by inaction; to let something ‘stew’. Obs.

b. trans. U.S. To consider, ponder upon.

c. to mull over: to turn over (an idea, etc.) in one’s mind; reflect upon, think over, ponder

(http://dictionary.oed.com.arugula.cc.columbia.edu:2048/cgi/entry/00317872?query_type=word&queryword=mull&first=11&max_to_show=10&sort_type=alpha&search_id=q07z-lUrhsv-8881&result_place=12)

The connection between human mulling and apple mulling, I think, is the slowness implied – the extended period of steeping one’s thoughts (or one’s juice) without any urgency of action.

I love mulled cider, but in my current incarnation as homeless global nomad I lack the kitchen to do it justice. For a taste of my life on-the-go, I suggest Starbucks’ or Tully’s ciders. For a taste of my life as an on-the-go semi-cook, I suggest Williams-Sonoma, whose Mulling Spices have been one of Santa’s nicest stocking stuffers in recent years.

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2 Responses to “mull-ing and rum-inating: thoughtful winter-time drinks”

  1. intlxpatr said

    Nice post, Little Diamond, and thank you, although I am sure that the status is just a blip/gift of the Christmas season.

  2. what a great gift then :-). I’m toasting you with my mulled cider (actually at the moment hot tea) right now!

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