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As the dark season arrives it's time to start making some traditional drinks.
In Sweden this would be glögg.
Germans and Brits, and probaly others, knows some similar but weaker drinks under the names Glüwein and Mulled wine.
I personally find the stuff you buy in the shops inferior to what I can make myself, so tonight I'll share with you a 250 year old recipe.
The unaltered recipe states the ingrediends as:
1 bottle of beer
3 dried figs
20 Cardamom kernels
3 bitter orange peels
1 stick of cinnamon
1 piece of ginger
270 grams of sugar
half a bottle of vodka
1 bottle of Madeira
I personally exchange the vodka for rum and lower the amount to about half a cup. I also use less than half the amount of cardamom but doubles the amount of cloves and cinnamon.
I also find Cassia cinnamon better than the regular type. The amount of ginger isn't something you need to be careful about but some trial and error has given me the opinion that it should be a piece about the size of a thumb.
The beers they had 250 years ago isn't the same as what the populace is drinking today. So don't use a regular lager or an IPA. I find that a brown ale or a keller bier works fine. But it's not very important as long as you don't use very hoppy beer or a porter.
It doesn't need to be Madeira, most red wines will do as long as they aren't of the weaker kind.
And lastly the sugar. I use unrefined sugar instead of white sugar, it probably more correct for the old times but also tastes better. I'm also using just half the amount. I strongly recommend to try out the amount you like instead of just following the recipe. You can always add, but you can't remove.
Now back to the recipe
Pour the vodka(rum) in a pot and add all the spices and the quartered figs.
Let it draw for fifteen minutes under low heat. Don't let it boil.
Pour off the vodka(rum) and add the bottle of beer. Don't throw away the rum(vodka)!
Let it boil for fifteen minutes while adding the sugar while stirring.
Add the wine and the rum add let it draw for another half an hour on low heat. Once again no boiling.
Sample frequently to make sure you get it right.
Strain the spices and serve it in small cups with raisins and blanched almonds.
They claim it tastes better if you let the spices draw for a couple of weeks.
I have never tried this.
Now back to the sampling...
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.