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15 December 2012


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Ah yes, Glühwein. And thinking of all the snow you Americans have over there, let me just add that it can be made easily 'us däh lameng', so to speak. A rule of thumb recipe:

One needs about two bottles of sweetish red wine, about ten cloves, two cinnamon sticks, and perhaps some bay leaves and cardamom. Then a good glass of rum or brandy and three sliced oranges (with unwaxed i.e. edible skin).

Briefly cook the ingredients together, and ... there you are. Served hot outside, preferably in the snow, and ideally around a fire. Cheers to that.

Which reminds me. We had spent a long and cold day shooting and doing drills out on the snowy, windy slopes of the Westerwald near Daaden one February. Most of us were from Cologne and we were all in a rather foul mood since our company had planned this exercise, of all times, during carnival. Bastards, our consensus said, and if that wasn't bad enough - the weather had been just rotten. As if add injury to insult, it had been snowing all week, and if it had not been snowing, then it had been raining, and there is a lot of truth in the line in a song we were supposed to sing when marching, that in the Westerwald the wind is so cold. That evening, our Spieß caught up with us. He and the kitchen team had brought warm food, finally, and most importantly, hot tea. He stood there, beaming, pouring a bottle rum into the tea container, announcing: "Tea is served!" A lot of that foul mood was forgotten that moment.


Thanks for the Glûwein recipe. I hope to escape snow again this winter, but if I cannot, I will try this remedy. I have experienced the tea you describe. They called it "Jãgertee." It was made with some kind of Austrian rum, and it had the property of making you very wide awake and slightly drunk simultaneously. I truly miss Germany.




I doubt that it would be as in days of yore. pl


Sadly, I'm sure you;re right. Thomas Wolfe was wrong about lots of things, but he was right that you can't go home again—or back to the Germany of my memories either.

I should have said I miss the Germany of my memories. I wouldn't really want to relive those times, but the world we have now is complex and terrible in its own unique way.



The Austrian rum most probably was synthetic rum, Stroh Rum, some of the 'Ersatz' that had to be invented as a result of that allied blockade or another. It has 80% alcohol, so I can easily imagine the slightly drunk part.

I won't comment on the taste (pure, it is, well, let me put it that way, something for enthusiasts) but it is sure effective. My dad used it so spike his tea and coffee on Sundays. Always have a bottle of the stuff in the house, never know what you may need it for. It is for instance, an effective antiseptic also.

Greetings from Germany over a glass of Old Overholt. Since we are speaking of alcohol anyways, I had an epiphany lately, as it is called, by the name of Connemara. I recommend it highly.

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