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A Christmas “Warmer-upper”

December 11, 2010 11:30 am - Posted by otta in Learn


Malt Wine, Mulled Wine or by its original name GluehWein

This recipe takes me back to my childhood when I was living with my family in communist Czechoslovakia. We’d spend all the Christmas holidays together as a family, drinking hot tea with a splash of dark rum and slice of lemon, and passing out after the first few sips out of my tea mug. When my sister and I became little bit more sophisticated our parents introduced us to a new winter treat “Malt Wine”. So this recipe that I am sharing is as I remember it from my parents: rustic, but elegant at the same time. We didn’t use some fancy tea bags or copper pots, but just simple and honest ingredients to create amazing memories.

To prepare it you will need a half a liter of any red wine (don’t worry about the quality) because you will be adding sugar and acid and alcohol. You’ll want a good selection of warm spices such as cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamon, as well as in form of lemon and orange (whole). Dark Rum or Brandy if you have it, sugar of course and that is pretty much it.

Take a small pot and with a medium heat bring the wine to simmer, do not boil the wine too fast. During this process you are loosing the valuable buzz-like aspect but don’t worry too much as the rum will then come into to an effect. Next, put 6-8 cardamon seeds and 1-2 cinnamon sticks in the simmering wine. Cut 2 thick slices of orange and lemon, take 8-10 cloves and push them in to each piece of citrus, like a stud or nail. You shuld make it look pretty as this will also make a nice garnish. Place in to the liquid and add sugar to taste.

I like mine much more sweeter then others, so I use 4-6 spoonfuls of sugar in each half liter, but you can adjust to taste. Now comes the fun part.  W e could call a fortification (like in the Port production) where we add the alcohol to an already alcoholic beverage. 3-4 ounces of dark rum or brandy needs to be added. Again add to taste.

Simmer this mixture for at least 30 minutes, although I prefer an hour. Strain into cups, serve hot with a fresh cinnamon stick and a lemon or orange wheel taken out of the mixture.

Enjoy this drink in front of the fireplace or just cuddled up under a blanket while watching your favorite holiday fare on TV or with the one you love.

Blog by: Otta Zapotocky, General Manager and Sommelier at Wildfire Steakhouse and Wine Bar

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