December 24, 2012

In Germany: My Daily Inspiration - Glüwein

It's Christmas Eve today and almost time to go back to NYC!

I must admit, I'll be missing German Christmas markets, even though they will be soon closed anyway for the season. 

I, personally, think they add quite some magic to the holidays. Without them, German cities wouldn't bring upon us the same kind of joyful holiday spirit. It's a special, special time when Christmas markets open, and I do love my Glühwein on a cold snowy day...

The tradition of Weinahtsmarkt has been around for centuries and Glühwein is as old as the Christmas market itself. However, as much as it is popular in Germany, the Glühwein recipe does not originate in Germany. To learn more about the history of Glühwein and how I've come about it, click here.
The mulled spice wine recipe has been first mentioned by a Roman citizen Marcus Gavius Apicius, who published the first recipe for Glühwein in his book “De re coquinaria” (“About Cooking”), where he mentioned the “Conditum Paradoxum” for the first time.

But aside its long history, I just love Glühwein, but I only love to have it where it's part of a special occasion, like Christmas time in Germany. I even mastered up to make my own Glühwein at home. It's pretty easy and it's the best remedy, believe it or not, for colds!

Other European countries have picked up the traditions of Glühwein and Weinahtsmarkt and even sell bottled Glühwein and other hot drinks that you can make at home, like IKEA that I've visited in Germany does - it offers a selection of bottled hot drinks, from Glühwein to Cider - or as they call it in Sweden, Glögg - SAFFRANSSMAK, a 15% white mulled wine with saffron flavor and Glögg RÖDVIN, a 12% red mulled wine. 

One other things that I love about Glühwein kiosks at the Weinahtsmarkte (Christmas markets, in German) is the 'lounges' that they put together around the kiosks that look like winter cabins with a fireplace in Vermont. It completely makes the whole experience of Glühwein drinking so much more special and enjoyable:

Glühwein is also sold in the bags of spices to make Glühwein at home.

You can also buy all kinds of Glühwein and other traditional in Germany Christmas alcoholic drinks - like Grappa - at the wine stores:

The many beauties of Gottingen's and Kassel's Weinahtsmarkte:

What's your favorite winter hot drink?

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