Well, I've talked about it enough...guess it's about time for me to give you guys a taste what all the fuss is about over here! It's no surprise that glühwein is my most favorite holiday drink in the world. Before moving to Germany, I'd never heard, nor tried this yummy spiced drink. More commonly known as mulled wine in the states, glühwein starts making its appearance in Germany as the last leaves of autumn fall to the ground and the cold December winds start to blow. Glühwein stands are a staple among German Christmas Markets, as I'm sure you know from reading my blog or following my adventures on Instagram. But one thing many people don't know is that glühwein is insanely simple to make at home. Yes, ladies & gentlemen...you can enjoy this treat year round if you wish!
I remember the first time I sipped a mug of warm glühwein. D and I had only been living in Germany 4 months and we ventured up to Cologne for our first Christmas market ever. Before our market visit, our new friends had mentioned that we must try this hot mulled wine Germany is so famous for serving. Being the wine fanatic that I am, you didn't have to tell me twice! The first sips, I'll admit, weren't my favorite. The aroma of cloves and mulling spices can totally take you aback. But as you continue to wander the markets, the cold air nipping at your nose (as they say), that glühwein starts to warm your bones and somehow leaks into your heart and stays forever. Or at least that's how it happened for me. I've now spent 3 Christmas seasons here in Deutschland consuming god knows how many mugs of glühwein and it's safe to say I've only grown to love it more. So much more that I've perfected my own glühwein recipe so we can enjoy it at home and share it with our friends and family back in the states!
Truth be told, there are many ways glühwein can be made. Red wine, white wine, rosé...anything goes as long as it's not too sweet. You'll add sugar to it later. In addition, any combination of mulling spices seems to be acceptable. I'm not a big fan of star anise, but it seems to be found in almost every glühwein recipe I've tried. My recipe, however, omits it altogether. It's one of those drinks you can play around with, swapping out spices, spice amounts, and juices as you like. You can even make it stronger with the addition of liquors (like cherry or johannisberry--also known as red currents), but make sure you've got a DD on your hands if you go that route. This stuff goes down like buttah, so it's easy to forget what number mug you're on! I have to say, the formula I've concocted below has evolved to be my favorite yet. Enjoy a piping hot mug with a side of lebkuchen (gingerbread) and it'll be like you're right here in Germany with me!
1 bottle red wine (dry to medium dry)1/2 orange, cut into slices
1/2 lemon, cut into slices
1/4 cup of fresh orange juice (from the other half of unsliced orange)
1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice (from the other half of unsliced lemon)
4 Tbsp. sugar
8 dried cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
Place all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil for about 1 minute. Then reduce heat to low and allow wine to simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes. Serve with a small orange or lemon slice in a cute mug and ENJOY!!
Oh and one more thing...
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