HOW TO GLÜHWEIN YOUR HOLIDAYS AND ADD SOME GEMÜTLICHKEIT
“Komm, trinken ma noch ein Glaserl, so jung kemma nimma zamm”
(Komm, trinken wir noch ein Gläschen, so jung kommen wir nie wieder zusammen)
(Come, let’s drink another little glass, we will never come together again as young as we are now)
First the basics — pronunciation:
Glühwein Ingredients: red wine, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and orange slices
Glühwein. Don’t let the umlaut (those two dots above the “u”) intimidate you — it’s easy to pronounce.
Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market – photo courtesy of M. Gardzina
Just say the word Glue (like Elmer’s glue) and vine and then put the two together and you are good to go.
And experience has told me that the more you drink, the better your German becomes (or the others are too drunk to notice your terrible pronunciation).
Okay, now that you can say it, if you live in the US, it’s time to bring a bit of the Old Country to your Thanksgiving or Holiday festivities. And if you live in Austria, it’s time to invite over some locals and impress them with how well you have culturally adapted to your new home. Because Glühwein is THE drink of the Christmas Markets (see my post with a comprehensive list of Vienna’s Christmas Markets) and if you can’t get to a Glühwein stand, then bring the stand home to you with one of the following two recipes. The first is the traditional Glühwein and the second is the so-called Vienna Glühwein, a Glühwein with a bit of punch (well more than a bit).
– 2 bottles of dry red wine. (In Austria we use Zweigelt but I think a Merlot would work just as well)
– about ¼ C of sugar. But if you are anti-sugar, leave it out. It will be equally good.
– 1 orange, sliced (make sure they are unsprayed “unbehandelt / Schale zumVerzehr geeignet” – if you can’t find these at some place like Whole Foods, then just peel them)
– 1 stick of cinnamon
– 5 cloves (in Austria, called “Nelken” and sold either in a green bottle or bag in spice section)
– a few star anise (in Austria called “Sternanis” and sold in a green bottle in spice section)
Warm wine in large pot but be careful not to boil it because you don’t want it to evaporate. Next add the slices of orange. I like to stick the cloves and star anise directly into the orange slices (look at photo above and specifically the orange slice, there I have inserted the cloves to demonstrate). Then add the cinnamon and allow to simmer.
When the wine is warm, add sugar.
Serve in a mug and enjoy.
Mulled wine spices –
in the US, get this at World Market or at Amazon
Jar of Gluehwein spice
in Austria, get this at Meinl on Graben in the tea section upstairs.
Add a Glühwein Fix bag or two:
In USA available at: International Food Shop online store.
Gluehfix Gluehwein bags
In Austria, at Julius Meinl, again in tea section. Billa usually sells it too but mine didn’t and I wasted about a half hour of my life scouring first the tea section, then the alcohol section, then the baking section thinking, “If I were a Glühwein bag, where would I be?” Then thinking, “If I were a Billa employee trying to cram all these products in the space the size of a living room, where would I put it?”
THE INSTANT GLÜHWEIN (which indeed feels a bit like an oxymoron since Glühwein is about slowing down a bit, relaxing and enjoying the company of loved ones – being gemütlich)
Glühwein sold in a bottle. I advise against this Glühwein version. Part of the beauty of Glühwein is the scent of the holidays that the pot of spices and wine exude throughout your house as it simmers on the stove. But if you are pressed for time or simply opposed to anything that requires about 5 minutes of prep time then give the bottle version a try. Apparently World Market sells it at its stores. And if you go this route, for goodness sakes, heat the Glühwein in a pot on the stove, add some orange slices and spices anyway and pretend, pretend, pretend, it’s completely homemade. (It can be our little secret, I won’t tell anyone).
Glühwein in a bottle ready to go. Sold at World Market and some liquor stores
You can also try these guys International Food Shop (which I must say, I have no experience with so if you try them, let me know if it worked out, if not, I will remove the plug from my blog. But if it does – the site looks pretty awesome and I can highly recommend this White Elderflower Syrup with sparkling water as a great alternative to soft drinks – just need a spoonful per glass)
And for the more daring:
VIENNESE GLÜHWEIN WITH A BIT OF A HO HO HO ADDED
– 3 C of water (3/4 L)
– a few black tea bags
Ingredients for a Vienna Glühwein with hard alcohol
– ½ orange sliced (make sure they are unsprayed “unbehandelt / Schale zumVerzehr geeignet”)
– ½ lemon sliced (make sure they are unsprayed “unbehandelt / Schale zumVerzehr geeignet”)
– 4 ¼ C (1/2 L) of red wine (Zweigelt or Merlot)
– ½ C sugar (100 g) – again, if anti-sugar, just leave this out
– ½ C (1/8 L) freshly pressed orange juice (or something you can pass for it by cheating, just make sure it is 100% juice)
– 2 schnaps glasses (4 cl) of apricot schnapps
– 4 schnaps glasses (8 cl) of Amaretto
schnaps glass and apricot schnaps
– 3 schnaps glasses (6 cl) of rum (30%)
– a stick of cinnamon
– a stick of vanilla
Boil water with tea bags. Place cloves in slices of lemons and oranges and add to tea. Turn down heat to a simmer and add red wine. Add sugar when wine mixture is warm. Next add the orange juice, schnaps, amaretto and rum. Last add the rest of the spices.
Serve and spread the good cheer!
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