The tree is up, lights are on the house, and snowflakes are forecast for Sunday. I love this time of year and the anticipation of the coming holidays. Unwrapping ornaments for the tree is a wonderful trip down memory lane and I always look forward to rediscovering all the handmade treasures, souvenirs from travel adventures, and family mementoes that I’ve accumulated over the years. They get more special as each year goes by.
Gluhwein, a spicy, slightly sweet, red wine, is a tradition in German households during the holidays and is a much anticipated treat in the holiday markets throughout Germany. It’s aroma fills the cold air as it simmers away in the specialty food booths that fill the markets. That, and the aroma of sausages grilling and nuts roasting, is an unforgettable experience.
I bought a bottle of an Oregon Gluhwein when I attended the Holiday Market at the German American School recently, and I’m sure you can find some in your local market and German delis, but it is so easy to make and fills the house with such a wonderful aroma that I recommend making it at home. I like to serve it with spicy cookies such as ginger snaps or lebkuchen.
- 1 bottle red wine
- Juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on your taste
Slowly heat wine. Don’t let it come to a boil. Remove the zest from the orange and lemon a squeeze out the juice. Add to the wine along with the spices and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes, then let stand for about an hour. Strain and reheat just before serving. A crockpot works very well if you are making gluhwein for a crowd. Add a lemon twist or cinnamon stick for garnish and enjoy. This will warm holidays shoppers and party guests right down to their toes.
Please do stop by Designs by Gollum to see what wonderful things are going on there as Michael hosts another wonderful Foodie Friday. Thanks, Michael.
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