"Essen und Trinken halten Leib und Seel zusammen" is a favorite quote in Germany, especially during the winter months. Food and Drink keep Body and Soul Together.
Cold weather, and long dark nights there may be, but in Germany their arrival is the perfect reason to try a whole variety of warm and warming drinks, and here are three traditional seasonal recipes.
GLÜHWEIN, A HOT MULLED WINE
Literally Glow Wine, and "glowing wine" or "wine to make you glow" sums it up perfectly, it is a popular and warming winter drink, not only during Advent, Weihnachten, or at the seasonal Christmas Markets but also when tucked up warmly at home at any time during the cold winter months.
Glühwein is wine, fruit and spices heated to just below boiling point before drinking, and there are many different recipes, but this is a special one given me by a friend in the Schwarzwald, The Black Forest, an area where they produce some wonderful wines, and make excellent mulled wine.
GLÜHWEIN, A RECIPE FROM THE BLACK FOREST
3 Bottles Dry Red Wine...(does not have to be brilliant but one that you would be happy to drink normally, Gallo Ruby Cabernet, a red Zinfandel or a Shiraz would all work well)
3 Oranges, untreated if possible otherwise washed thoroughly
1 Lemon or Lime, untreated if possible otherwise washed thoroughly
1 Large Apple, untreated if possible otherwise washed thoroughly
3 Cinnamon sticks
1 Star Anise
3 Dessert Spoons Raisins
Sugar to taste, Brown is best
Pour wine into a large pan and warm slowly to just below boiling point.
Wash apple and an orange, cut orange into slices including peel, core and remove seeds from apple cutting into small chunks.
Squeeze juice from remaining oranges and the lemon.
Add all the ingredients including the spices, but excluding the sugar, to the warmed wine, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, allow to stand for another 20 minutes then taste.
The cloves, star anise and cinnamon should be removed now if you feel it is spiced enough, and sugar added to your taste.
Now it can be left for a few hours and is there ready for surprise guests. The fruit can be removed and the mixture strained through cheesecloth or a fine sieve but that is optional. The wine mixture is then slowly reheated, very important that the liquid never boils, and the Glühwein poured into warmed mugs or heat proof glasses.
A shot of Amaretto or Rum can be added as it is served, which is a Weihnachtsmarkt favorite, and other variations of Glühwein can be made to this recipe using White, Raspberry, Blueberry, or Blackberry wines as well as alcohol free wine.
An alternative quick and easy version of Glühwein
6 1/3 cups red wine
2 cups water
1/2 of a lemon, sliced
Pinch of ground cloves
Sugar to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a large pot and stir over medium heat. Allow the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove lemon, and strain through a cheese cloth or a fine sieve if you wish to make sure there are no clove grains remaining but this is optional, and serve in individual glasses which are garnished with a cinnamon stick.
And now Kinderpunsch, "Childrens Punch", an alcohol free punch and not only a favorite for children, it is a delicious warming drink for everyone.
1 Liter brewed fruit tea, Blackberry for example
500 ml Apple Juice. It is worth trying apple first but it can also be white or black grape juice
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 Lemons or Limes
1 untreated orange to use juice and the peel
Wash orange thoroughly then peel and juice.
Juice lemons, or limes.
Put all ingredients including orange peel into a pan and simmer to warm through, do not bring to boil.
Leave for 15 minutes, remove the orange peel and spices, slowly reheat to required temperature with sugar added to taste.
Last but not least a recipe for a Pharisaeer, which is basically coffee and rum but has a great story behind it.
In Germany a Pharisee is another word used to describe a hypocrite, there are several including Scheinheiliger a "pretend saint".
A pastor in 19th Century Northern Germany had given strict instructions that no alcohol should be served at a Christening. Unfortunately he then found out it had been, in the guise of coffee where the aroma of the rum had been prevented from escaping by a thick layer of whipped cream. He had been given a mug without any alcohol so according to the legend, when he discovered what was going on, he shouted out "You Pharisees" to the rather "merry" guests, and the rum and coffee drink got its name.
Ingredients for 4:
1/2 liter good strong coffee (2 cups)
80 ml Rum (5 tablespoons) - or to taste of course
400 gr (1/1/2 to 1.3/4 cups) whipped cream
Put two teaspoons sugar into each of four mugs (and they don't have to be the cute authentic ones, but it is better if they are tall)
After warming the rum pour 20 ml (1.1/4 tablespoons) over sugar
Pour hot coffee into mug
Top with whipped cream
The "Pharisaeer" should not be stirred, simply drink it from beneath the mammoth layer of whipped cream just as it was all those years ago at that infamous Christening.
Photos Glühwein courtesy de.Wikipedia, Pharisaeer courtesy Germany-Tourism.de