After our fantastically festive trip to Hamburg recently I have been determined to hold on to the Christmassy vibe I acquired there and therefore, on a manky, cold and wet day like today, I can think of no better candidate for cocktail hour than a warming, festive glass of glühwein.
Glühwein is essentially the same as mulled wine, which I have made many times before. However, I was a little surprised at myself when I realised that I have always used a prepared spice ‘kit’ to make it in the past. Surprised because it is so incredibly easy to just bung in the whole spices yourself; the only downside being that you will need to strain it before serving.
Our favourite gluhwein in Hamburg was ‘mit schuss’ - with a shot of triple sec, and I wanted to recreate this version, with it’s more pronounced orange flavour and it’s satisfyingly alcoholic tingle, guaranteed to transport you away from the worries of the working week!
When I was taking pictures for this post I wished that we had been as light fingered as other tourists we saw and had pocketed some of the festively decorated mugs (is it really stealing if they’ve charged a deposit?) to serve our glühwein in, both because of how it looks and also, a hot drink in a wine glass is decidedly awkward to handle; keep a handy supply of napkins within reach.
1 bottle of red wine (I used a bottle of Bergerac)
1 orange, cut into slices
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 tbsps caster sugar
25ml shot of triple sec for each glass (I used De Kuyper but Cointreau is a well known brand)
You can use a shot of whatever spirit you fancy, dark rum works well too.
Pour the wine into a pan and add the orange slices, sugar and spices. Heat gently until all the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes, making sure that the wine doesn’t boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow to stand for an hour to infuse. When ready to serve gently reheat the glühwein until hot but not boiling. Strain the glühwein through a sieve into a jug, add the shot of cointreau to your glasses and top up with wine. You can add a piece of orange slice as a garnish if you wish. The glühwein is equally good, if not better, when it has been left to infuse for even longer. We even had some left over (I’m not sure how that happened) for the following day and the boyfriend said he much preferred the more pronounced flavour of the spices.