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Monday, 10 December 2012

Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

Mulled Wine

The first thing I get excited about, once it hits December, is definitely the Christmas markets. Here in Austria, they are quite the deal and are surely worth seeing with their majestic decorations, purely oozing Christmas spirit. But… let’s face it! The best thing about them is grabbing a cup of mulled wine (Glühwein) to keep you warm (and boozy) while chatting to your buds in the festive atmosphere. Every mulled wine stand has its own recipe and so do I. I love making it at home as I usually find the ready-made mixes tasteless and most of the stands’ either too sugary or too low quality.
Mulled Wine
As I love Christmas and everything around it, and I was particularly lacking festive spirit due to the lack of snow a year or two ago, I spent a couple of cold December evenings trying to develop the best (in my humble opinion) mulled wine out there. Let me just say that after the 3rd batch it gets more and more difficult to restrain yourself from singing Christmas songs out loud through your window. However, it was totally worth it! If you want to give it a whirl yourself, read on for the recipe:

Mulled wine/ Glühwein recipe
1 bottle (750 ml) of dry red wine (I quite like Syrah/Shiraz)
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cup water
½ lemon – sliced (or other citrus fruit)
2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tsp. of powdered cinnamon)
3 cloves
½ l orange juice
1 bag of fruit tea (berries or apples work best)
1 shot rum per cup (optional, I personally don’t put it in)

Mix all the ingredients but the rum and the lemon in a pot and put over medium high heat and stir well, so all the sugar dissolves perfectly. Bring almost to the boil; if it starts actually boiling, the alcohol evaporates. Sieve the liquid if you used powdered cinnamon; otherwise, fish out the cinnamon sticks, cloves and tea bag. (You can, also, put all the dry ingredients in a muslin cloth before you put them in the liquid, so it’s easy to remove them afterwards.) Pour in cups, put some lemon slices in and add the shot of rum. I find it tastier without rum, but, I believe, the classic recipes always feature it.

So, there you go, if that doesn’t cheer you up, I don’t know what will! ;)

Rathaus Christmas Market, Vienna, Austria

Would you make this at home?