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During the Christmas season many German town centers have street markets with stalls selling cookies, arts and crafts, wooden toys and other festive items. Almost every street corner seems to boast Bratwurst and Glühwein stalls. Light a roaring fire and pour yourself a small glass of warm, spicy red wine. Below is a basic recipe, but in Germany vendors will offer you additional flavorings such as elderberry cordial or a shot of dark rum. At home, spike it too, if you choose.
Heat your Glühwein in a large saucepan on the stove or in a large jug in the microwave, but don't let it boil or the alcohol will evaporate. If you want a less alcoholic drink, then mix in apple juice or water.
Chef George Hirsch | Makes 6 servings
1 bottle full-bodied red wine
1 small lemon
6 orange slices
3 cinnamon sticks
4-6 Tablespoons sugar
3 ounces brandy
Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Cut the lemon in quarters. Stick the cloves into the rind of one quarter. Slice the rest thinly. Add the lemon quarter and orange slices to the pan with the cinnamon and sugar. Heat slowly until hot, but do not allow to boil. Add brandy and serve in heatproof glasses or small cups Place a metal teaspoon in the glass before adding the hot liquid to prevent glass from breaking.