No German Christmas market is complete without this hot, spiced, mulled wine. This tasty, soul-warming drink can be prepared with any combination of mulling spices (e.g., cinnamon, cloves, star anise, orange peel, and sugar; sometimes vanilla pods) and either red or white wine. “Glühwein” literally translates to “glowing wine” in reference to the hot irons that were once used for mulling. The creation of glühwein apparently began long ago, dating back as far as 500 BC. It was likely that spices, sweetening agents, and herbs were originally added to wine for health reasons and for improved taste.
Today, glühwein can be found across Europe, most commonly at Christmas markets. It is often served in a limited edition mug that can be purchased as a souvenir.
Try this tasty and simple recipe and impress your guests around the holidays. Better yet, serve it with bratwursts, spiced fruit cakes, or roasted nuts.
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
1 (750 ml) bottle red or white wine
In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
While the mixture is simmering, cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Push cloves into the orange peel and place the peel in the water. Simmer until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy (approximately 30 minutes).
Pour in the wine and heat until steaming. Do not let boil (the alcohol will start to burn off). Remove the orange peel/cloves.
Serve hot in mugs. You may garnish with extra orange slices, if desired.
*Picture acquired from http://www.erikcreugers.nl