Campfire Spiced Wine

Crouched on the riverbank at Cahills Crossing, our spanking new fishing rods in hand and dreaming of big barramundi, the first cast of the day never even hit the water.

Instead, my Dad’s line unspooled in a crazy arc, snagging on itself in a mindboggling mess. 

My daughter’s new birthday rod disintegrated shortly after, leaving us sidelined – labouring over tangled and broken reels – while crocodiles gathered for their share of the barra being pulled ashore further up the bank.

As the sun dipped low we were forced to call it a day, returning to camp with nothing but missed opportunities. 

We shook out the camp chairs and sunk low with tepid beers, joined within minutes by a plague of dusk-time mosquitoes that even our smoky campfire couldn’t shake.

Spraying and slapping, we gulped down bowls of pasta and hurried off to bed, convinced that Kakadu’s world-famous fishing holes would not let us down tomorrow.

At dawn, we took our rods to Yellow Water Billabong to watch a magnificent sunrise, minus a catch of barramundi.

And over the following days we fished our way south, casting lines all over the national park to reach Pine Creek with still empty buckets. 

Instead, this batch of Campfire Spiced Wine chased away our blues, and after days spent standing sentry on wild, palm-fringed rivers and billabongs, not catching fish turned out to be a mighty fine way to spend our time together. 

The Hunter and The Gatherer

Eating well when you’re tackling watery adventures looks nothing like it used to.

That’s why we wrote The Hunter and The Gatherer, just for sailors. It’s packed with 160 recipes and sustainable seasteading advice gleaned from our two decades living on the sea. 

If you love to eat well, but love to escape more, this is the book for you.

In it, we share how to fish, spear, net, coastal forage, grow and sprout the freshest ingredients possible, and how to turn them into amazing meals (even in tiny galleys). Find out more and buy the book here.

Campfire Spiced Wine

Serves 6-8, gluten-free
  • 1.5 litres red wine
  • 1 litre pomegranate juice
  • 2 large oranges, juiced (or 200ml long-life juice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or rice malt syrup)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 orange & 1 pear, thinly sliced

Pour the red wine, pomegranate and orange juices into a large saucepan or, if cooking outdoors, into a large camp oven.

Stir in the sugar (or rice malt syrup) and spices, and cook over a medium to high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the mixture is aromatic and the sugar has dissolved.

Add thin slices of orange and pear to the pot, take off the heat, pour into mugs and sit back under the stars. 

Keen to learn more and support future articles from us?

Order your copy of The Hunter and The Gatherer – today. It’s a fishing, provisioning and cooking guide written just for sailors, packed with 160 recipes and sustainable seasteading advice gleaned from our two decades living on the sea.  It will make you more self-sufficient and teach you how to fish, spear, net, coastal forage, grow, sprout and create the freshest ingredients possible, and how to turn them into amazing meals (even in tiny galleys). Find out more and buy the book here.

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