Monday, December 14, 2009

Festive Mulled Wine

Our holidays celebration had started sometime last week and the schedule are quickly filled with invitation and gathering. We went to our local Christmas market in Dusseldorf last weekend. One must do thing for almost everyone is to drink Glühwein – German spiced mulled wine. I started with a spiced mulled white wine which has become very popular in the last few years here in Dusseldorf. Then move on to the red wine version. I like to browse around and enjoy the atmosphere – smell, sound, light, music, Christmas goods and happy crowd. So we did Glühwein stands hopping! Well that was a big NO DO thing! I woke up next day felt like someone was hammering my head. You see - each Glühwein vendor has his own secret recipes as well as using different wine and brandy quality (after 2 of those – they all taste fantastic). I did the same mistake years ago and totally forgot the morning after experience. The excuse is that we were away abroad for few years.
I love the smell of this festive drink in the house. It makes me feel cozy, wintery, and romantic. Here are recipes for red and white mulled wine. Please make sure use the wine you know or you may experience my symptom from Glühwein stands hopping.

Gluehwein – German spiced Mulled Red Wine
• 3 bottles (750 ml. each) dry Red Wine (zinfandel, merlot, burgundy, etc.)
• 1 pint Brandy
• 3/4 cup Raw Sugar
• 5 Cinnamon Sticks ca 10 cm
• 10 Cloves, whole
• 1/8 tsp Allspice
• 1/8 tsp Mace
• 2 Organic Oranges, sliced
• 1 Organic Lemon, sliced

1. Pour the wine into a large pot and begin heating over low heat.
2. As it begins to warm, add Sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved
3. Add the Brandy
4. Heat thoroughly, but do not allow not let it boiled. The alcohol will evaporate
5. Add the Lemon and Orange
6. Steep for about 1 hour over low heat
7. Add more sugar during this time if desired and stir until dissolved
8. Serve hot and garnish with Orange slices and stick Cinnamon

Spiced Mulled White Wine
• 1/2 Organic Lemon
• 1/2 Organic Orange
• 2 tablespoons Honey
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup Raw Sugar
• 6 whole Cloves
• 6 whole Allspice
• 2 Cinnamon Sticks
• 2 bottles (750 ml. each) dry white ( Pinot Grigio, Soave, or Sauvignon Blanc)

1. Rinse Lemon, Orange, and Kumquats and thinly slice them, discarding seeds
2. Quarter Orange slices
3. Heat Wine over low heat until almost hot
4. Add Fruits, Honey, Raw Sugar - use the smaller amount if you prefer drinks on the tart side, Cloves, Allspice and Cinnamon
5. Steep over low heat for about 1 hr over low heat
6. Serve hot with slice Lemon, half Kumquat (optional) and Cinnamon stick

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