Sunday, February 10, 2008

An Uplifting Beverage

Here is what your basic Glühwein ought to look like when you're done with it - or it is done with you, maybe. Despite the fact that the picture and recipe come from a 1965 McCall's Cocktail Time Cookbook, glue is not an ingredient. This the the German word for "glowing wine" (sounds better in English, really) and is related to glogg, the mulled wine of Scandanavia and Estonia and Finland. They all like hot spiced wine up there in Northern Europe in the winter.

Well, we like it here in Canada too. And it has been snowing a great deal so even though Christmas, when it is traditionally served, is over, there's always a good reason to mix up a little glogg or glühwein.

First the recipe, which we can make up and sample, before we get on to the picture. I'll condense it a little bit to save time.

Glühwein à la McCall's Cocktail Time

4 orange slices, cut crosswise
4 lemon slices, cut crosswise
1 quart Burgundy or claret
6 whole cloves
3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into five pieces
1 cup granulated sugar

Take a large saucepan and bring wine to a simmer - don't boil it. Add everything else in and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let it stand over low heat for about ten minutes. Serve in punch cups, each with a piece of that cinnamon stick which you broke in five pieces (not six or eight or two sticks into three each - one stick, five pieces! and that's final!). I guess that means it serves five.

This is quite a photograph of the end result. The punchbowl is hovering in mid-air while flames shoot from its base. At the same time, purple smoke is coming off the surface of the Glühwein and strange circular things are emanating from within the dark-red depths. And the punchbowl seems to be hovering in a forest clearing in the middle of the night.

I think there may be some unwritten instructions as to the making of this drink. McCall's must have a secret test kitchen in the Black Forest. And it would help if you were a medium and/or skilled in telekinesis.

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