Friday, January 06, 2012

Mock Gluhwein

Looking for a fun non-alcoholic, tea free, coffee free hot beverage as an alternative to hot chocolate and spiced cider? Try this version of Mock Gluhwein, or as my mother calls it: Mock Claret.

My mother's mother was born in Prussia, specifically the German speaking region Silesia, which is now part of modern day Poland in the region where Poland, Germany, and Czech Republic meet. For Thanksgiving and Christmas she made a virgin version of the gluhwein that she had enjoyed back in Prussia.

A little history of gluhwein:

If you've ever been to Germany, Poland, Switzerland, the Alsace region of France, or Austria in November and December you'll have noticed that almost every large town has a Christmas Market also called Christkindlmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt. Each of these markets will have at least one stall selling gluhwein, loosely translated gluhwein means "glowing wine".

Gluhwein is a mulled wine and every town or region does it slightly differently. They start with heated sweet red grape wines or even fruit wines then and add spices, sugar, and citrus. This drink is very similar to the Nordic Glogg or the British Smoking Bishop (if you've read the original version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" the smoking bishop is mentioned in Scrooge's speech to Bob at the end of the story).

In our home my mother carried on the gluhwein tradition. She didn't have a written recipe, she would just add things to taste. Her beverage usually contained concord grape juice, citrus juice, sugar, and a packet of grape koolaid, then she would heat it on the stove and serve it in a punch bowl she brought back to the states when she lived in Germany herself about 50 years ago. It wouldn't be Christmas without it.

I have tried different gluhwein recipes over the years and really enjoyed the addition of cinnamon, clove, and allspice. This is the link to the recipe for my version of mock gluhwein:

This recipe also has the added benefit of soothing sore throats. For my other sore throat remedy check out this recipe:


holly said...

Mmmm, great, now I want some.

The Suzzzz said...

I make a big batch and then pour it into several water bottles and keep it in the fridge for when I want it. Just pour it into a mug and nuke. Almost as good as fresh. I've been chugging this all winter long and I haven't really gotten sick. I think mom was right about it.