Thursday 1 August 2013

How To Make Glühwein

Friends of mine had this awesome idea to make glühwein and braai. The weather for the coming Saturday looked promising, cold and miserable, just perfect for glühwein consumption. Woo hoo! (Never have I been so enthusiastic about consuming a warm beverage). 

Glühwein (roughly, "glow-wine," from the hot irons once used for mulling) is popular in German speaking countries and in the region of Alsace in France. It is a traditional beverage that is offered during the Christmas holidays. 

We each brought along a bottle of cheapish red wine to contribute to the copious amounts of glühwein we would make and consume. Everything was running smoothly, cold weather - check; construction of make shift fire pit consisting of steel droppers and wire mesh - check. Then the tempting sun called us towards her warm and inviting rays. So we sat in those rays and drank. Now myself and a few others wisely consumed beers, ciders or white wine as our choice of beverage, although there were certain individuals who insisted on drinking red wine in the sun. I warned them against this, but alas my words were ignored... 

Kids, (assuming you are 18 years of age or older as the wine oak promotes responsible drinking) here is the after defect (haha I meant to type effect but I actually prefer predictive text's word suggestion) of drinking red wine in the sun:

We had an awesome day and when the sun finally set, we switched to the glühwein which had been steaming on the stove. It came out mouth wateringly (is that a word?? Well it is now) delicious. Oh yes, we did eventually braai and eat too.

We have 1 month of winter left in South Africa, so I would recommend making your own glühwein ASAP. There are several recipes on the Internet, but this is the one we tried, with a tweak or 2:

Ingredients for 4 glasses of glühwein:
3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of white sugar or brown sugar or honey for a different flavour
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon
1 orange
10 whole cloves
1 bottle of red wine (750ml)

  1. In a large pot, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks and place on heat. Stir slowly until the sugar has dissolved, whilst  bringing to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
  2. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange skins and place them in the simmering water.
  3. Cut the lemon in half, add the halves to the simmering water and continue simmering for 30 minutes until thick and syrupy and then reduce the heat.
  4. Pour the wine into the pot and slowly heat until steaming but not simmering for 10 minutes. Do not bring to the boil at any point as this will cause the alcohol to evaporate.
  5. Remove the clove-studded orange halves, lemon halves and cinnamon sticks.
  6. Serve hot by pouring (a ladle works well) into individual mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break). 

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