So, this week, Joe decided to further blur the already-blurry line between mixology and cooking! With a massive crockpot, a wide assortment of fine ingredients, and the finesse of master chef, he brewed up a huge batch of Glühwein, (pronounced "glue-vine ,") right there on the bar!
This week's post is all about that!
• 1 bottle of red wine,
• 2 - Cinnamon sticks – Cinnamon is very traditional. Break the sticks into pieces 1 – 2 inches each,
• 16 Whole Cloves – again, a traditional ingredient,
• 1 Orange,
• 2 tablespoons "runny" honey,
• 1 heaping teaspoon of mixed, ground Christmas-cake spices, (or equivalent amount of ground allspice, nutmeg, and coriander, all mixed together,)
• I also add cardamom,
• Water – wineglass full
1. Put water in large pan and place over medium heat.
2. Add cinnamon, honey, and spices.
3. While honey is dissolving cut the orange into quarter lengthways, then cut them in half so you have eight pieces. Push two of the cloves into the skin of each piece and add to the pan.
4. Pour in all the wine!
5. Bring the heat up. It should not boil so as when bubbles start rising turn the heat off.
6. As soon as it is cool enough to taste, test it for sweetness. If it is not sweet enough add sugar to taste and stir to dissolve.
7. Let the pan stand for an hour or longer so the flavours develop.
8. Warm gently before serving and spoon out into a heatproof glass, leaving the oranges and cinnamon behind. Optionally garnish with slice of lemon or fresh stick of cinnamon.
Chris's notes: I am not a wine drinker by nature. Don't get me wrong, I wish I was! I have seen movies with Musketeers downing it with gusto and solidarity, Roman centurions raising flagons of the stuff with uproarious abandon, King Arthur and his knights in armor, both shining and otherwise, all draining mugs and chalices of vino and seemingly loving it. I envy them!
But it just never really got me going.
So, when Joe told me of his recipe for "Glühwein," I was dubious. I mean, "hot wine?" I never saw that in any of those "historical fiction" flicks!
Joe dismissed my worries and began making it, and insisting that I would like it. And even as I clung to my reservations, I began to realize that my palate, unseasoned in the ways and nuances of the grape, might be the best impartial judge of the stuff.
To start with, as the brew was in the pot, periodically checked on by Joe, (and occasionally, a curious Delip,) the entire bar was filled with the scents of all those wintery spices of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the like, (and believe me, there are many smells and many spices competing for airspace in an Indian restaurant!)
The brew itself is a real "warmer-upper." Joe says that he has frequently seen it served as an "apres-ski" drink in the Swiss alps. (I realize he may well be full of... uh, stories, on this, but it is not hard to believe!)
Yes, it is wine-y, but so much more. All of those spices and ingredients make a real nice taste. Very much what one would associate with this time of year. Nothing overpowering or foreign, just a very familiar and delicious drink to warm one's winter bones!
To combat all the snow that we have had to endure recently, I decided to whip up an urn or two of my favorite Glühwein recipe. I believed that those brave enough to battle their way through the arctic landscape that Salem has become, certainly deserved something special for their efforts.
During the Christmas period in Germany, special markets spring up in all the towns and cities. Nestled amongst the hand-crafted decorations and sausage stands, you can easily spot the a plume of steam rising from the Glühwein stall. For a few euros you can purchase a cup of steaming Glühwein to warm your soul. Glühwein's literal translation is "Glow Wine" because of the glow you feel after consuming a cup or two. Remember, you only want to glow, not spontaneously combust, so be careful of the amount of Glühwein you consume.
During the hedonistic eighties in London, wine bars sprung up all over town like zits on a teenager. Business-suited city workers could be spotted after lunch emerging from their favorite wine bar. Many, furiously glowing and sporting the remnants of their Glühwein consumption as a stain around their mouths, like the painted-on smile of The Joker from Batman. They headed back to their office or cubicle to sleep it off until their release at five o'clock, when the wine bars once again would be filled to capacity with smiling Glühwein drinkers.
There are many different recipes for Glühwein, Vin Chaud and Mulled Wine. I like this recipe because of its simple list of ingredients.
Depending on your preference you can make it sweeter or more citrus. Some people like to add a shot of blueberry or other flavored schnapps to each cup. This of course will add to the alcohol content. Remember to pierce the orange skin with the cloves. This will prevent any stray cloves from ending up stuck in your guests teeth. Alternately you could strain your Glühwein before serving it.
Incidentally, I will be rustling up a fresh batch of my Glühwein recipe at the Passage Lounge this weekend if anybody wants to stop by.
Joe the Bartender
Completely Unrelated Video this week, but just the epitome of coolness. Shatner on Lopez.