Is it cold in your neck of the woods? Temperatures are dropping pretty steadily over here. Our little Victorian row house is full of charm– and full of cracks, where the cold winds blow right in. We don’t want an astronomical heating bill, and we have already asked our landlord to do some weatherizations… And while we wait, we don extra socks, sweaters, jackets and wool blankets. And we make Glühwein. Few things really warm you up from the inside, out like Glühwein– and luckily, it’s really simple to make. Every sip I take brings me back to the Christmas we spent in Germany, and the wonderfully cozy Christmas market in our little town. People out and about in the evening, crunching through thick blankets of snow, drinking Glühwein and eating Leibkuchen or Bratwurst. Sigh… I am afraid Germany has ruined us for Christmas anywhere else in the world. And while we are here wishing we could visit a Christmas market, we enjoy sips of it in the form of Glühwein. And you can, too! Here’s how to make it:
How to Make Glühwein
What You’ll Need
- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine— this is a great use of a cheaper wine, or one that you were disappointed with!
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey or sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 organic orange
- 10 whole cloves
- Orange liqueur, Brandy or Rum— all optional
What to Do
- Pour the water into a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Add the honey.
- Poke the cloves into the skin of the orange, slice into halves, and squeeze some of the juice into the water, and throw in the clove-studded peels. Add the cinnamon, and let this mixture simmer and reduce until it begins to thicken. Your house will smell amazing.
- Pour the wine in, and heat very gently, until it begins steaming. Don’t boil the wine! Remove the orange peels and cinnamon stick.
- Serve in mugs, adding a shot of the orange liqueur, brandy or rum, if you need a little extra heat. I always ordered mine “mit einem Schuss Brandy.”
- Enjoy the coziness that will inevitably creep all the way down to your toes.
To make this as a gift, just make room in the bottle of wine to pour in a batch of the syrup, put the cork back on it, and then add a festive label with instructions to heat the wine. We haven’t managed to keep any bottles around for long, but I would imagine that it should keep for a few weeks.
What is your favorite cold-weather drink?