Glühwein (serves 8)
- 1 bottle of red wine. Use an inexpensive full bodied fruity wine. You definitely do not want to use an expensive bottle and try to avoid one with oak aging. I think a Cabernet, red Zinfandel or Syrah/Shiraz would be ideal.
- 2 - Cinnamon sticks ~ Cinnamon is very traditional. Break the sticks into pieces 1 - 2 inches each
- 16 Whole Cloves ~ again a traditional ingredient
- 1 Orange
- 2 Tablespoons runny honey
- 1 heaped teaspoon mixed ground Christmas cake spices - or equivalent amount of any of ground allspice, nutmeg, coriander mixed together
- Water - wineglass full
- 6-8 oz Brandy
- Add water to a large pot and place over medium heat.
- Add cinnamon honey and spices.
- While honey is dissolving cut the orange into quarter lengthways, then cut them in half so you have eight pieces. Push two of the cloves into the skin of each piece and add to the pan.
- Pour in all the wine.
- Bring the heat up. It should not boil, so as the bubbles start rising turn the heat off.
- As soon as it is cool enough to taste, test it for sweetness. If it is not sweet enough add sugar to taste and stir to dissolve.
- Let the pot stand for an hour or longer so the flavors develop.
- Warm gently before serving and spoon out into a heatproof glass or tea cup, leaving the oranges and cinnamon behind. Optionally garnish with a fresh orange slice, fresh star anise or fresh stick of cinnamon. Top off with splash of brandy.
• The wine has not been heated enough to evaporate all the alcohol, so be aware it is still an alcoholic drink.
• To make larger quantities: multiply the recipe per amount of guests being served. This recipe serves 4 people 2 servings or 8 people 1 serving.
The idea of pushing the cloves into the orange is so they are not loose in the drink. If you do not do this stage you should consider straining the drink so that people don’t get the surprise of a whole clove in their throats.
As mentioned, there are many variations to the basic recipe of warmed wine with spices. Some people like to add brandy to give the Glühwein more body, but of course that adds dramatically to the alcohol. Another way of adding body is to pour in a glass or two of Port.