2021 Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 17 – Glühwein. Roughly translated as “smouldering wine” or “glow wine” based on the temperature this mulled wine is heated to and the effect it has on imbibers, Glühwein is a traditional German mulled wine often served as an après-ski warmer.
Syrah is well-suited to mulled wine recipes thanks to its dry-yet-fruity full-bodied flavour, and you can find more great wine recommendations like this by downloading the Somm™ app today.
This post is sponsored by Somm™.
Glühwein is traditionally served in a tankard which is a style of drinking vessel resembling a beer stein but with the addition of a hinged lid and often made from silver or pewter. If you’re wondering how long German-speaking countries and the Alsace region of France have been keeping the cold at bay with a warming nip of Glühwein, we know that this cocktail has been around since the early 15th century at least. The oldest documented Glühwein tankard belonged to Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen, a German nobleman who was the first grower of Riesling grapes and his gold-plated lockable silver tankard is dated to 1420.
This mulled wine is typically comprised of red wine, cinnamon sticks, cloves, anise, orange, sugar, and sometimes vanilla bean. It’s served extensively at Christmas markets in Europe and sometimes includes a shot of something stronger. In this recipe, I’ve taken some liberties by adding cream sherry and an herbal alpine liqueur, Liquore Strega, but preserved the heart of the recipe by mulling red wine with baking spices. The alpine liqueur imparts a welcome bitterness that prevents the Glühwein from being too sweet and adds a layer of complexity to each sip.
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Join me on my Instagram Stories tonight at 5 pm Eastern for a step-by-step walk-though on how to craft this crowd-pleasing winter warmer.
- 1 bottle Syrah
- 12 oz cream sherry
- 10 oz Strega or Yellow Chartreuse
- Peels and juice from ½ an orange
- 1 oz gingerbread syrup
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Garnish: cinnamon stick
- Garnish: star anise
- Garnish: orange peel
- 1 cup demerara sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger thinly sliced
- 1 tsp whole allspice berries
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
Add all ingredients into a slow cooker and set temperature to “low” for approximately one hour.
Switch to “keep warm” and serve in heatproof mugs.
Garnish each glass with a swath of orange peel, cinnamon stick, and star anise.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients listed. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure the ingredients blend together.
Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for about 20 minutes until syrup is slightly thickened.
Cool to room temperature.
Carefully strain the whole ingredients out of the syrup. Once cool enough to handle, store the gingerbread syrup in a swing top bottle or mason jar and keep in the fridge. Syrup will keep for at least a month.