A few of you have asked for my secret Glühwein recipe. Passed down the generations of my family, from mother to daughter...in whispers late at night by the fireplace on the eve of our 18th birthday. It was first learnt from a wandering monk who stopped at the house of my great great great great grandmother in Holland one frosty winters evening as thanks for a place to stay for the night... or perhaps I just made it up as I went along...
Really the beauty of glühwein is that you can tailor it to your own tastes. I like mine to be rich in spices, however if that is not your cup of tea, then just reduce amount of spices you add. Just take this recipe as a base and then go in the direction that best suites your tastes.
To 4 litres of red wine you need:
- Caster sugar (amount proportional to quality of red wine, the worse the wine the more sugar you need, add it to taste, but start with about 2 cups)
- 6 - 8 Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- 2 Oranges
- Whole allspice
- 2 cups of orange juice
- If you wish to get your friends and yourself tipsy even more quickly, or just to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry or port to the mix. (optional but rather tasty)
- Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – you must not let the wine boil or the world could end… and that is not something you want to risk...
- I tend to cut the oranges into slices and then put about 4 cloves into each slice, then put them in with the wine.
- Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as 10 of the whole all spice.
- Add in the sherry or port as well as 2 cups of orange juice.
- Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.
- Stir on and off for about 30 mins to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed (possible up to 4 or 5 cups more in the wine is really bad).
- Let it cook/infuse/whatever for about 30 mins more (again, not letting it boil).
- Drink and be happy :)
Also, in a more glögg-esque version (The Swedish version of glühwein/mulled wine), having this with gingerbread is quite yummy.
I have also tried some consisting of amaretto with white wine instead, and that was also delicious - I'll post this and other variations on the Glühwein theme in the future, so keep an eye out!