Friday, 18 May 2012

Winter Warmers

As the coldest time of the year approaches, with winter solstice (for the southern hemisphere) just over one month away, the thick jerseys are unearthed from the back of the closet and the electric blankets taken out of storage. Those of us lucky to enjoy the beauty of a roaring fire on a cold winter's night know that there is nothing better to accompany a good blaze than a glass of gluhwein.

We found a wonderful recipe at

To 4 litres of red wine you need:
Caster sugar (amount proportional to quality of red wine, the worse the wine the more sugar you need, add it to taste, but start with about 2 cups)
6 - 8 Cinnamon sticks
Whole cloves
2 Oranges
Whole allspice
2 cups of orange juice

If you wish to get your friends and yourself tipsy even more quickly, or just to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry or port to the mix. (optional but rather tasty)

  • Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – you must not let the wine boil or the world could end… and that is not something you want to risk...
  • I tend to cut the oranges into slices and then put about 4 cloves into each slice, then put them in with the wine.
  • Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as 10 of the whole all spice.
  • Add in the sherry or port as well as 2 cups of orange juice.
  • Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.
  • Stir on and off for about 30 mins to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed (possible up to 4 or 5 cups more in the wine is really bad).
  • Let it cook/infuse/whatever for about 30 mins more (again, not letting it boil).
  • Drink and be happy :)
Sometimes I like to add berries, which soak up the alcohol quite nicely and add to the cuteness of the drink.

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