With the cooler December months come Christmas markets and Mulled wine, or Glühwein.
Glühwein literally translates as "Glowing Wine", the name being derived from the time when hot irons were used to heat the drink. If you have not tasted it, then you can make your own. It is a hot beverage consisting of red wine that is gently heated with with various spices such as cinnamon, anis, cloves, cardamom, and citrus fruits. A non-alcoholic mulled wine is called Kinderpunsch.
1.5 liter red wine 2 bottles 75 cl each
4 oranges untreated
3 Cinnamon Sticks
3 star anise
75 ml rum or brandy (optional)
100gr brown sugar if you can get Belgium Rock Sugar
Slice two oranges and juice the two remaining oranges.
Add the red wine, orange slices, and freshly pressed orange juice and spices in a pot. Gently heat the mixture at a low temperature. Do not let it boil! The ideal temperature is 72°C/ 161 °F. Anything over 78°C/172,4°F and the alcohol will evaporate. You can best check this with a cooking thermometer.
Optional Step: leave the Glühwein to sit for an hour or two and then reheat. This will allow for the spices to fully develop their flavour.
I don’t add sugar, as a good wine can speak for itself. But if using a cheaper wine, add some sugar. The right amount of sugar will depend on your personal taste.
For an extra warmth factor, add in some brandy or rum.
To serve, strain out the orange slices and spices and serve the wine hot.
You can also make it in a slow cooker or crock pot so that it will keep warm for your outdoor Grill Fest or BBQ in the crisp winter air.
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