Glühwein, many Germans would imagine, is a very German thing. Hot red wine with citrus fruit and spices … we’ve known and enjoyed it for generations. Those affiliated with the Swedish culture – by relation or through the marketing stunts of a certain Swedish furniture company – will be familiar with the Scandinavian variant glögg. But did you know that the English have it, too?
I was surprised to hear that ‘mulled wine’ is not just a translation of glögg or Glühwein, but is actually its own long-standing tradition in Great Britain. Though probably drunk primarily at home and not at Christmas markets, which are just starting to gain ground over there, the concept – and presumably most recipes – are utterly identical.
The Wikipedia entry for ‘mulled wine’, however, reminded me of an interesting German variation of the Glühwein formula, namely Feuerzangenbowle (literally ‘fire tongs punch’), which has earned its own right, both as a cult film to be watched as a happening Rocky-Horror-Picture-Show style with bring-along gadgets such as an alarm clock, a torch and a sparkler and as the beverage which gave the film (or rather the book it is based on) its name and is now the flagship drink for New Year’s Eve. Picture a large bowl of mulled wine and a bridge-like metal contraption suspended across the opening of said bowl and holding a large sugar cone. This sugar cone is then soaked with rum and set on fire. More rum is added until the sugar cone has completely dissolved, dripping, together with the rum, into the wine. This light, low-calorie drink is guaranteed to make all of your guests happy.
And, how do you take yours – subtitled or dubbed? Read more next week …
For the purpose of promoting international understanding, here’s Jamie Oliver’s recipe for mulled wine(including one lime!): http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/recipe/jamie-s-mulled-wine/.
The Pommes Buddha says: Dust off your punch bowls and stoke the fire!