Thursday, 5 December 2013

Me Oh My! That’s not Chai!

(on account of it’s gluhvein!)  

Last year today, we were departing for Goa, land of warm breezes and real chai.  Tonight, we are facing wind chills of minus 38 C, and sorry folks, but chai isn’t hot enough.  Only gluhvein, hot spiced red wine, will do.

Luckily it’s silly easy to make.  Because the wine is brought to a boil, a bit of the alcohol burns away, so you can give yourself a bit more than you’d normally drink if it was regular wine. In fact, one bottle of wine will serve three people, but you can make this one serving at a time.This takes less than ten minutes to prepare.

Per serving

1 cup red wine
2 cloves
1 small bit of cinnamon or cassia
1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar
a splash of brandy (optional)

Fill a good sized cup with a reasonably good quality red wine.  Pour that into a pot, adding two cloves and a small piece of cinnamon or cassia.  Turn heat on to medium, only, so that the spices have the time to steep into the wine.  No need to rush here.  Add a teaspoon of jaggery, or brown sugar if that’s all you have. 

Just a bit of cinnamon or cassia per serving.

Some die-hards have been known to add a tablespoon of good brandy, since they’re upset about losing a bit of the alcohol from the evaporation process, but I was after warming comfort, as opposed to total oblivion.  When the wine is just steaming up, and about to boil like mad, pour it into that cup, and enjoy.

I had my gluhvein with ginger cookies.  Come back tomorrow for that recipe.  Oh so luscious, sweet and warming. 

When we lived in the mountains, we’d have this outdoors, at our snow picnics, but although the snow was five and six feet high, the temperatures were never bitterly cold.  Here, the snow has drifted to up to two feet, which is a lot for us, but these temperatures will freeze flesh after a few minutes, so we’ll be staying indoors to enjoy this treat.  Stay tuned for the ginger cookies! 

How this jpeg of Alpen glow got animated, I don't know... If you do, do tell!

No snow picnics out here till the weather warms up.  It's so cold the snow squeaks!

The old snow patio in Hall Siding

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