Monday Meal Ideas: Holiday Beverages:Austrian Style Mulled Wine

My favorite thing about Christmas Markets throughout Europe is strolling the stalls with a paper cup of hot, spiced wine. It really helps keep the cold at bay while you gawk at Christmas curiosities and artisan wares. During trips to Berlin, Tallinn and Budapest, piping hot mulled wine made the necessity of going everywhere on foot (even after dark) bearable despite plummeting temperatures. Barcelona’s Santa Llucia Christmas Market is sadly bereft of  hot beverages, and with them, mulled wine. Hot wine may not typical in the Mediterranean city, but it’s a custom worth adopting, if you ask me.

Mulled wine is a great, gluten-free, dairy-free alternative to holiday brews like eggnog or punch. Plus, the oranges are fortified with vitamin C, great for fighting off those winter bugs. So why not serve it at your next holiday gathering?

Warning: mulled wine, like sangria, makes for a ridiculous hangover if you overindulge.

Recipe for Austrian Glühwein (mulled wine)

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bottle dry or sweet red wine depending on your preference

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 cloves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 orange cut into chunks

  • 1 orange sliced for garnish

  1. Put all ingredients except the orange slices on to simmer.

  2. Turn off the wine when it comes to a boil.

  3. Place orange slices in glasses

  4. Pour the glühwein into the glasses through a sieve (to make sure no chunks of orange, cloves or cinammon stick end up in the drinks.

  5. Drink warm.

Note: If you really prefer white wine, you can make a less-authentic, but very tasty Austrian style mulled wine with your favorite Riesling or Chardonnay, too. If you do this, I would substitute half or all orange slices for lemon slices.

Looking for a sweeter drink? Add sugar to taste.

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