Gluhwein

Gluhwein (mulled wine) is a drink very suitable for this season. Nothing better than a cup of warm, spiced wine with your friends and family, while it is raining and storming outside. Or after a nice walk in the freshly fallen snow. Or on a Christmas market. Or just by yourself, under a blanket on the sofa, reading a good book.
You will need a reasonable red wine for this recipe. I always think that using a good wine is a bit of a waste, since you will alter the flavour by adding spices & sugar and by heating. But using a very bad wine will not work either, you will taste that even trough the spicing and the sugar, and you shouldn’t bother to make it yourself, the supermarket has cheap ready made that tastes like bad wine with to much sugar. So a mediocre wine is fine, but it should be a wine with oomph. Otherwise your gluhwein will mainly taste like gluh, and not like wine. I used a Berberana Red Dragon Tempranillo 2009 that was priced down at my supermarket and I was very happy with the result.
For people that can’t or don’t drink wine, you can do the same thing with apple juice. Buy a good apple juice for this (I use “flevosap”) that is unfiltered.
I like to make the spice mix myself in stead of buying ready made, because I can choose what I put in there and it is more cheap as well.

Gluhwein (0,5 L)
0,5 L red wine
1 strip of orange or lemon peel
2 whole star anises
5 whole cloves
5 whole cardamom pods
a piece of mace
1 small stick of cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar (for medium sweetness)
Optional: raisins (for an extra kick, soak them in rum)

Combine everything in a pan, put a lid on and simmer on very low heat for 15-30 min. Drink hot. Take care not to let the mixture cook, not only will you loose the alcohol, it will also make the mixture bitter.

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