Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Many years ago my husband and I celebrated Christmas in Germany. While we were strolling through the Marienplatz in Munich at the Christmas Market, known as Christkindlmarkt, we noticed that everyone seemed to be drinking a warm wine from cups. My husband asked a gentleman, in his best German, “Was ist das?” or what is that.
“Gluhwein,” the man answered, except to our ears it sounded like “glue-something.” Not easily intimidated, my husband asked other passersby, hoping we could understand what they were saying. It continued to sound like glue, so he finally went up to a street vendor selling this glue-sounding drink, mumbled his best pronunciation and pointed to people that were drinking it. We were served a delicious warm drink that we later learned was Gluhwein.
The easiest way to make Gluhwein is to buy the German spice bags, which we brought home with us from that trip, and heat them in red wine. However, that was many years ago and I’ve run out of my stash of spice bags. Fortunately we don’t live very far from Helen, a lovely German town in north Georgia, and it’s worth a trip there to get them. If you can’t find the bags, here is our version of the mulled wine.
This recipe was translated by a friend from a German cookbook, written, of course, in German.
1 cup water
½ to ¾ cup of sugar, depending on your taste
1 quart of red wine, such as a Merlot or Shiraz
1 stick of cinnamon
4 lemon slices, plus more for garnish if you wish
Make sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Add remaining ingredients and return to a boil. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick, lemon slices and cloves and serve warm. Garnish with fresh lemon slices if you wish. Serves 4.
Be sure to check out Cathy's Gluhwein at Wives with Knives. We both love Gluhwein and her photographs, as well as her blog, are gorgeous. She was able to purchase Ghuhwein at a Holiday market at a German American School. She lives in Oregon and German stores and deli's there also have it, so keep an eye out if you don't want to make your own.
Portions of this post were taken from the Archives.