Gluhwein, the original mulled wine. Hot, sweet and spicy and the perfect winter warmer.
When I first moved to the UK, I made a commitment to myself to travel as much as I could around Europe. Even if it was just for a day or a weekend, try and take it all in. In the past few years, we have been steadily fulfilling this goal in anticipation of when little people may make us ever so slightly less flexible (ha). So, in the last two-three years we have been to, Paris, Ypres, Berlin (twice), Reykjavik, Salzburg, Vienna, Copenhagen, Geneva, Dublin, Edinburgh, Canada a couple of times and most recently Munich.
I’m well aware just how lucky we have been to be able to do all of this, so I’m always intent to take full advantage. I study the street maps, read the local papers in advance, learn some of the local language. Try and figure out the best places to go, that might not be heaving with tourists. Needless to say, my ability to converse in French and German has improved dramatically in the last two years (thank you DuoLingo!).
What has got to be my favourite area is Bavaria. I have not an ounce of German blood in me (so far as I’m aware), but I feel quite at home there. First when we visited Salzburg, and last month in Munich. The people are friendly and down to earth. The scenery is gorgeous, and the food and drink is just brilliant. Plus this time, we also went to Hofbrauhaus for a small stein of beer. Not to mention the abundance of pretzels and bratwurst.
Anyway, the point of this post is about Gluhwein, or what you might know as mulled wine. We visited Munich, partly because I’m a German history geek, but also because it was the start of the Christmas Markets! Let me start by saying, if you have ever thought about going, just go! It was great! The scent of cinnamon sugar was everywhere, with candied almonds, gingerbread and most importantly Gluhwein. I got hooked big time. You pick on one mug in a stand, and walk down the road sipping the hot sweet and spicy nectar. Then deposit your mug in another stand.
Naturally, when I got back I had to make some of this for myself. Just a word of warning, this does take a lot of sugar and spices and frankly a decent bottle of red. It is meant to be slowly made and drunk. You aren’t rushing this, you are enjoying this after coming back from skiing or tobogganing.
Glühwein ist im Winter perfekt!
Well, rather than pair with a drink, I suggest pairing with some homemade gingerbread.
Get yourself some Christmas music!
Glühwein, the original mulled wine
- 2 bottle of good quality red wine
- 140 g white sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 4 cardamon pods
- 8 cloves
- 2 lemon juiced and zested
- 2 orange zest and juice one of these
- 400 ml water
- Nutmeg optional
- ¼ cup slivered almonds optional
- ½ cup brandy
- Put everything into pot, except for the oranges. If you are using the nutmeg, either grate a little bit into it (you will need to strain this out later if you are using). Carefully warm this up. You want to simmer but not boil (keep the alcohol!)
- When ready to serve, put a slice of orange in a mug and pour over the wine. Be careful to leave the spices in the pot!