Day 10 of Advent: Hot Wine

Is this your first year to spend Christmas time in the Czech Republic? Or, have you already been at Christmas markets in the country or in other European countries before? If so, you must notice this special drink, Christmas hot wine. It’s like a pop star at every Christmas market. People are drinking and chatting around the place where it is sold so you never miss it.

Christmas hot wine, also known as spiced wine or mulled wine. It has the Czech name as “vánoční svařák” (an abbreviation of svařené víno = hot wine) and the German one as “Glühwein”. You can find it at almost every Christmas market in Europe. It tastes like wine but not quite the same and it is served hot or warm. And thank god, Christmas markets are taking place as usual this year in the country despite the coronavirus pandemic so you will get the chance to try this traditional drink if you haven’t yet.

Hot wine is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas.

 Hot Wine & The Mug

If you go to the Christmas market, the thing that makes hot wine so interesting is not only the beverage itself, but also the mug it is served in. It’s not an ordinary mug but a special Christmas edition. It could be ceramic or plastic and there are usually pictures, patterns or phrases related to Christmas on it. When you pay for the drink, you need to also pay the deposit of the mug. After you finish the drink, you can either return the mug and get your deposit back or leave the deposit there and take your Christmas mug back home with you.

Get yourself a special Christmas mug after drinking hot wine.

Why Not Try It At Home: Recipe of Hot Wine

If you want to try the hot wine but are afraid of the crowd or the coronavirus at the markets, you have the option to make it by yourself. Here I would like to share with you the recipe of hot wine, which is really simple.

The ingredients:

  • Wine: one bottle of dry red wine, it doesn’t need to be expensive. Even the cheapest one that you can find in the supermarket can do the trick.
  • Fresh oranges, 1 piece
  • Cinnamon, 2 ticks
  • Sugar/honey, 2-4 teaspoons
  • Spices: cloves (5-8 pieces) and star anise (1 piece) are mentioned in most of the hot wine recipes. Moreover, some of the rest also include ginger or cardamom.

The directions:

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a pot.

Step 2: Simmer for 15min – 3 hrs, as long as the hot wine tastes good to you. Simmering means low-heat and covered cooking, definitely not boiling. Because you will otherwise lose the alcohol in the wine.

Step 3 (optional): Add another alcoholic beverage if you want it to be stronger. Many recipes recommend brandy here, just for your information.

Step 4: Serve! You can definitely serve it in a mug like what people do in the Christmas markets and decorate it with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

Now, you can simply enjoy this one of the best Christmas drinks at home! If you want to know more about the Christmas traditions in the Czech Republic and other surprises that we prepared for you, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Source of the photo:

Li Jiaoyang

Hi, there. See the photo on the left? Now we are talking! As a foreigner, the same as most of you, my dear readers, I know exactly what you care about the most.

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