My husband Sam looked skeptically at my Glühwein simmering on the stove, not a lemon in sight.
“This looks expensive,” he said, picking up the empty wine bottle.
“Barely ten francs!”
A long sigh.
For Sam, who is used to making Glühwein in stockpots over portable burners, ladling out to dozens of glassy-eyed, rosy faces, ten francs is obscene.
This isn’t your typical Glühwein, it’s not sickly Christmas market Glühwein, and it’s not well-meaning holiday party, let’s just juice the rest of this bag of half-mouldy clementines, Glühwein.
This is a generously spiced, serve at an intimate dinner party kind of Glühwein. A good book in one hand, a mug of this in the other. It’s my replacement for eggnog in all kinds of Christmas events from Christmas card writing to decorating the tree. It’s how to be a festive wine mom.
The citrus is in the garnish only, the spices are warm and festive, and it’s just a little bit sweet.
3 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
2 slices of ginger
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
grating of nutmeg
2 tbsp sugar
1 bottle red wine
orange slices to garnish
Add the spices, sugar, and wine to a large pot,
Heat over medium, making sure it doesn’t boil.
If desired, garnish with orange slices.
Pick a wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking—not too expensive, mind you, because you are spicing and sweetening it, but not the cheapest.
You can use most types of sweetener here. I used raw sugar (Rohrzucker / sucre de canne brut / zucchero di canna greggio), though brown sugar, or even honey, would also be nice, just taste as you go.