Friday, November 30, 2012

Collecting - Gluhwein Mugs From The German Christmas Markets


Left to right: Gluhwein Mugs from the Markets of Nuremberg, Berlin, Munich, and Dresden

Nothing cures a bone-chilling freeze like a cup of gluhwein, hot and spiced mulled wine with a European twist. Two years ago, my mom and I discovered this deliciously heady drink while trolling the Christmas Markets throughout Germany. Just a few sips and it feels like the outside temps are rising. Those vendors are smart; it can also make you a little dizzy and put you in the mood for some serious shopping! Soon, we became experts at finding the sellers, learning that each mug was different from town to town, market to market, stand to stand. The mugs are meant to be returned, or for an extra euro or two, to be taken home as a souvenir. After a somewhat slow start with understanding how it all works, a small collection was inadvertently formed. We're ready to go back for more...as soon as we warm up!
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You don't need to be in Europe to enjoy this hot drink. 
Gluhwein is also really easy to make at home during the holiday season. 
Just follow this simple recipe to get your holiday buzz on (adapted from the Dreaming of Winter Blog):

Gluhwein Recipe

Ingredients:
  • One gallon of red wine - try a burgundy. It doesn't have to be expensive!
Add these remaining ingredients to taste. 
All amounts will need to be proportionate to the quality and amount of wine used. 
  • Sugar (start with about 2 cups - you may want to add more later)
  • 6 - 8 Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Cloves (approximately 15-20)
  • 2 Oranges (sliced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Allspice (whole)
  • 2 Cups Orange Juice - you may want to add more
  • If you wish to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry, or port (optional but delicious!)
Directions:
  1. Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – do not let it boil.
  2. Cut the oranges into slices then put a few cloves into each slice in a dotted formation, then place them gently into the wine.
  3. Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and add them to the wine mixture.
  4. Add the allspice.
  5. Add in the orange juice (and the sherry or port if you decide to use it).
  6. Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.
  7. Stir occasionally for at least 30 minutes to give the spices time to infuse with the wine, taste it, and add more sugar as needed (it's possible to need up to 4 or 5 cups more if the wine is bad).
  8. Let the mixture continue to heat for about 30 more minutes (again, do not let it boil).
  9. Drink and be happy!

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