My first experience of Glühwein was on a ski run in Austria. I love skiing in the Alps, anywhere…The Austrian, Swiss, French or Italian will do, and they’re all diverse. The Austrian Alps however have strategically placed old log cabins on the mountainsides, where you can ski up, de-ski and step inside…where time could have stood still. Log fires crackling, a bowl of hearty goulash and a glass of Glühwein and you’re in business. Hot mulled red wine cooked with spices, served at a perfect temperature of warm. It glides down your throat cinnamon warming with cloves.
It’s something else on a mountainside blanketed in snow…!
After a glass of Glühwein, your skiing will improve, guaranteed. But be aware there are a few small cabins you can ski to in the Austrian Alps. A Glühwein in each and you’ll ski like Franz Klammer. Or think you are, which is really almost as great.
Get piste on the piste!
If you can’t make it to Austria before the end of the season, here’s second best. Although we don’t want to give you second best, here’s the recipe so you can pretend you’re in Austria, at home. Invite your friends over, or don’t.
How to make it:
2 bottles dry red wine, Cabernet or Beaujolais is fine
2 cups water, more or less, up to you
Juice of 2 Lemons
8 tbsp sugar, more or less
2 cinnamon Sticks
2 oranges cut into bite size pieces
Sliced oranges and lemon peel twists for decoration
Optional: Several cardamom pods, allspice berries, ginger root, a shot or two of brandy
Put all the ingredients but the wine in a cast iron pot (how they made mulled wine in medieval times) or a large saucepan, and bring it to a boil, simmering gently for 20 minutes to infuse the flavors.
Add the wine.
Heat through but don’t boil – you’ll waste the alcohol!
Strain the bits before serving into lightly pre-warmed glasses (don’t use cold, they’ll crack).
Decorate with a slice of orange and a twist.
Enjoy and drink responsibly. (We trust you.)
This drink is also served in German-speaking and Nordic countries throughout the wintertime, especially at the Christmas markets, and in Alsace in France. You can also get a great version of it on the streets in wintery Prague!