It's a crime to talk about the Winternachtsmarkt without mentioning the rich, hot beverages. Glühwein, a staple of the German winter markets, means “glowing wine. Glowing like…embers!” as my German roommate explained to me. Glühwein is hot mulled wine that really just hits the spot while outdoors on a brisk Berlin evening.
My sister with Glühwein at the Edinburgh German Christmas market
Jamie Oliver's recipe for mulled wine is a great start. I like to play around with the spices, for instance I tend to like more cinnamon (his recipe calls for one stick, I like two) and maybe a couple more cloves. But really, it’s to your liking so his method is a good foundation for your own personal mulled wine recipe.
Instead of making it in a pot, my dad adds the wine then the spices to the Crock Pot and lets them mull slowly. I like this method the best, it keeps the wine warm and rich.
Trying something new, my friend got hot Apfelwein, or mulled cider. Oh yeah, the Glühwein and cider stalls all had free gingersnaps to much on and dip into your hot drink. Amazing.
Mulled cider is made like mulled wine, so you can follow Jamie Oliver’s recipe and use cider rather than wine. For the nice and easy Crock Pot way- add as much cider as you’d like to the Crock Pot and then add the spices and boil. Turn down the heat as it mulls. Add some rum for some fun.
- Travel Tales -
The woman working at that mulled cider stand was pretty grumpy, unlike anyone else at this festive market, and carded my friend when she ordered the Apfelwein (nobody cards anybody in Europe.) It took about 10 minutes for her to angrily pantomime what she wanted us to do since our German was limited and her English was nonexistent. We tried handing her money, saying the name of what we wanted again, saying “bitte?” over and over etc. Anyway by some miracle of Gott we figured it out what she wanted and handed her the ID. The woman was confused/angered by the hologram on her driver license (from British Columbia), glanced at it briefly, and, without making eye contact, gave us the drinks anyway.
Yeah yeah cop lady, two dumb North Americans wandering around Berlin looking to get drunk at 1pm. Little did she know we had peed our pants earlier that day taking in the history of her amazing city.