***image1***Oh, here it comes. The prospect of a burned mouth, sticky fingers and purple lips gets to me – way down deep, where I digest spicy stuff.
What I’m speaking of is the magic of Glühwein – you can’t throw a fresh pretzel far at a local Weihnachtsmarkt without hitting either a stand selling Glühwein or someone drinking it.
Glühwein, or “Glow Wine,” dates back as far as 500 B.C., long before spiffy plastic stoppers were able to keep wine fresh. Spices and herbs were added to wine for health reasons and to make the wine drinkable again. It’s the perfect thing to warm you up once extremities become numb.
Don’t forget to give the kiddos the hookup on this liquid holiday miracle, too – a nonalcoholic version, called “Kinderglühwein” is often available where Glühwein is sold.
If you’re going to be traveling for the holidays, try asking around for the local mulled wine: in French, vin chaud (hot wine); in Italian, vin brulé (French for burnt wine), which is similar to the Romanian vin fiert of the same meaning; in Polish, Grzane Wino (heated wine); the Slovak Varené vino (boiled wine); the Slovenian Kuhano vino (cooked wine); the Hungarian Forralt bor (boiled wine); and the Russian глинтвейн (glintwein).
If you’re not the outdoorsy or shopping type, try making Glühwein at home:
3 (750 ml) bottles of your favorite red wine
juice of one orange
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
brown sugar, to taste
In a large saucepan over very low heat, combine all of the ingredients and heat until sufficiently warm being careful not to bring to a boil. Heat for 1/2 hour to an hour, tasting occasionally until just right. Remove from heat, strain and serve.
•From Cooking for Coach