Spanish people call this vino caliente, hot wine, in Finland and Sweden it’s called glögi or glögg and for some unexplained reason in English it’s mulled wine. Well, it’s the same thing in every country, though. We’ve been making mulled wine every Christmas for years and it’s a perfect drink when you’re preparing Christmas dishes as well as serving for your guests (who come to visit bringing you a whole lot of Christmas presents, hopefully).
Ingredients for Mulled Wine for 4 Servings
1 orange – naranja
2 dl (1 cup) of sugar – azucar
4 star anises – anís estrellado
1 vanilla pod – vaina de vainilla
6 whole cloves – clavos enteros
6 dl (3 cups) of black currant juice – zumo de grosella negra
a thumb size piece of fresh ginger – jengibre
1 teaspoon of whole cardamoms – cardamomos
1 bottle of red wine – vino tinto
4 cinnamon sticks – ramitas de canela
Peel orange and mix the peeled zest with all remaining ingredients except red wine and cinnamon sticks in large pot. Squeeze the orange juice into the pot. Bring to boil and add the wine. Reheat, but don’t let it boil. Serve with the cinnamon sticks in the mugs. If you wish, you can filter the wine, but skillful scooping to avoid spices entering the mugs will do, too!
You can use orange slices and star anises to garnish the mugs.
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between cava and champagne? Well, to make a long story short, Champagne is a region in France and sparkling wine produced in this area is called champagne. Cava was earlier called champagne, too, but original Champagne area producers wanted to protect their product (for obvious reason) they banned using the name for anything else. In Spain there are several producers of ‘champagne’, but the product is called cava. It is produced exactly the same way, but it is not done in Champagne, it’s not called champagne. And actually the name cava refers to caves as they are aged in old caves underground in barrels.
Codorníu is the second best selling cava in Spain after their rival Freixenet. Codorníu produces a whopping 5 million cases annually and they are located only about 50 km/30 mi from Barcelona near a small town called Vilafranca del Penedés.
In summer 2013 we were having a summer trip by car near Barcelona, visiting Cavas Codorníu was a must. One of their cavas, Anna de Codorníu, is one of our absolute favorites. We always have a bottle or two in the fridge. Here’s a virtual tour through the cava cellars!
A friend of ours works as a general manager in a local restaurant and he said that it is possible to open a cava bottle just using the bottom of a cava glass. Even though I know it’s fairly easy to open a bottle with a knife (or sword), this sounded too fancy to be true. This is what happened when I tried it: