Today the DC area awoke to frigid temperatures, bone-chilling wind gusts, and a dusting of snow that, while pretty, left in its wake large patches of black ice. I was happily not part of the morning rush today – no, I was too busy funding my dentist’s Ft. Meyer’s golf trips – so I got to head to work in the day light, unlike my normal pitch-black winter morning commutes (cue tiniest violins). The trip back home, however, was bitterly cold and (though begun at 4:30 pm!) dark, necessitating the downing of the following libation when I finally made it home.
Many of you are familiar with gluhwein’s American counterpart, mulled wine. And if you’ve tried it, then I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how amazing it is – warm, sweet, and lightly spiced. But if you haven’t, let me suggest my recipe for gluhwein. It’s guaranteed to defrost your toes and make you fall asleep on the couch only to wake up to find your cat has also been sleeping – on your head.
Gluhwein, my way
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups red wine (don’t purchase anything expensive – like sangria, you’ll be masking most of the flavor)
2 shots brandy
1 tea ball (about 1 TBSP) of mulling spices (I buy these in a packet at Harris Teeter for $2.99. You can mix your own by combining cinnamon stick pieces, orange rind bits, whole allspice, and whole cloves).
Start by boiling the water in a small sauce pan. When the water is rapidly boiling, add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved (you’ve just created simple syrup – good for you!).
Turn down the heat to Low. Add the wine, brandy, and the tea ball filled with spices. Warm the mixture until you see steam rising from the sauce pan.
Serve in mugs (leaving the tea ball behind, of course).
If you’re doing this for a party, increase the proportions to suit your needs. I’ve even heard of folks making this in a slow cooker set on “warm.”