Monday, December 25, 2006

George Bailey goes to Frankfurt: A Gluehwein Recipe and Wonderful Life

Our family enjoys a tradition that merits sharing. On Christmas Eve, we concoct a batch of Gluehwein - originally encountered by us years ago in Frankfurt during a work related trek- and ready some non-alchohol options such as sparkling cider, too. Most excellent Buffalo wings are prepared in the kitchen with care and a decent level of spicy kick. Then, we sit by the fire, and watch "It's a Wonderful Life".

From the start of our marriage, (even before kids) my wife and I purposed to create our own traditions as a family (Sort of a Genesis 2 kind of thing.) and Christmas Eve is no exception.

Family and friends are welcomed to join us, but the focus is being home and being family. Thus, Christmas Eve is an evening we cherish. In fact, if you want to see some upset young men, try breaking with the tradition- not going to happen if my three sons have a say.

So, what is Gluehwein, you ask? Well, here's a recipe that works really well. (Keeps in nicely a crock-pot for the evening, too.)

Gluehwein (A Frankfurt Recipe)
Ingredients:

750 ml Red Wine (Gamay Beaujolais 12.5%)
¼ cup filtered water + ¼ cup brandy
60 grams sugar (approx 2oz) 1/3 cup
1stick cinnamon (1 stick in 3 pieces)
9 cloves
Peelings of half a lemon
Juice of one small orange
One Sliced Orange (3 Clementines halves w/ Cloves) for garnish
1 oz Brandy

Preparation
Bring the sugar, spices, water, and brandy to a boil. Then let this mixture steep for 30 minutes.
Mix in the remainder of the wine and carefully reheat to just under the boiling point.
If desired, flavour with lemon or orange juice to taste.

Modified recipe based upon traditional recipe found here.

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