Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Spirit

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the fantastic spiced drinks. Store bought cider is fine if you're in a pinch, but my absolute favorite thing is Glogg (also known as spiced wine, vin chaud, or gluhwein). It is best served with some ginger cookies, from a mug.

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I am of Swedish descent (thus my decision to call this drink glogg over any other name), but sadly my mom didn't make this when I was growing up. She obviously had no idea what she was missing out on.

Ethan has combined a few different recipes into what I think is the perfect combination. we've tested it a few times, and it's definitely a success.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 cinnamon sticks
10 cardamom pods, hulled
12 allspice berries
12 whole cloves
juice and zest of one orange
1 cup kirschwasser (or liqueur of choice... we had this leftover from making black forest cake)
2 750 ml bottles cheap but decent wine (we've been using Beaujolais)
3/4 cup raisins.

To make:
- combine spices- the flavor is better if cardamom, allspice, and cloves are lightly bruised or ground in a mortar. If you don't have time, it will still be good.
-combine sugar and water over medium heat in a sauce pan to make a simple syrup.
- add spices and simmer over low heat 10-15 mins
- add orange zest and juice and simmer for another 5-10 minutes (your house will begin to smell AMAZING!)
- place syrup mixture in a pot large enough to hold wine and kirsch.
- add wine, raisins, and kirsch.
- bring to a very gentle simmer but do not boil.
- be careful if you're standing over this while it warms- the vapor rising off contains ethanol and you can get tipsy from inhaling it (personal experience!)
- serve warm in mugs (traditionally clear glass ones), preferably with gingersnaps.

For children, pregnant ladies, and those who just don't drink alcohol, the syrup and spice mixture would also be great added to a plain apple cider.

Word to the wise: this stuff is stout, folks. a couple of mugfuls can make a grown man giggle. fair warning!

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