Admittedly, this post might not contain any kitchen revelations. But then, it is is not meant to. It is the holiday season proper now. That time of the year when even the most progressive of minds take a turn towards the traditional, and the aesthetically refined gracefully embrace the tacky and tasteless. That time of the year when I make glühwein.
So this post is actually meant to mark the beginning of the holiday season. Let’s celebrate this with a glühwein – traditional style.
- 1 bottle of red wine (do not choose anything too low quality – a mediocre red wine that is not too heavy and has not matured in oak is a good choice)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 pieces of star anise
- 3-4 cardamon pods
- 3 cloves (cloves are generally a very dominant spice and can be a bit overpowering – I often replace them with juniper berries (around 5-6) for a more rounded taste)
- zest of 1/2 orange
- 1/2 juicing orange
- 3 to 5 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 to 2 shots of port or Crème de Cassis
- Fill the wine into a stainless steel pot. Keep the bottle for later storage.
- Break the cinnamon stick in halves.
- Crush the cardamon pods open, e.g. using the back of a spoon of the blade of a large knife.
- Cut the orange in slices.
- Add all of the spices and the orange slices to the wine as well as 1 heaped tablespoon of sugar.
- Gently warm up the wine while using a thermometer to check the temperature. Do not go beyond 70 to 75 degrees Celsius (the alcohol will start evaporating at around 80 degrees Celsius and the heat will also have a negative effect on the taste of the spices). Take off the heat when warm, cover and let infuse for 1 hour (not longer, or the taste will become unpleasant).
- Pass through a sieve and fill either back into the bottle to store (vacuum the bottle if you wish to store the wine) or into another stainless steel pot.
- Before serving, warm up to just under 80 degrees Celsius, and taste. Use port to sweeten and/or more sugar, if required. Fill into mugs and, if you like, add the orange slices and any whole spices that you used for the infusion for decoration. Serve and enjoy!!!