Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Sugar Hats and Feuerzangenbowle (German Mulled Wine)

I was in Darmstadt for a conference, last year, when a friend asked me to take advantage of being in Germany and go shopping on his behalf. Of course, I was happy to agree -- and beyond intrigued when I found out what it was that he wanted.

Sugar hats.

Have you ever heard of a sugar hat? I hadn't. Zuckerhuts are apparently popular in Germany; they're small cones of sugar (like a miniature sugar loaf) that are used in the making of mulled wine.

German mulled wine

I had to visit every supermarket in Darmstadt before I eventually found one place that stocked the supposedly-ubiquitous sugar hats... but then, it was summer, and this is really a festive drink designed to warm you up on cold winter nights.

When Waitrose got in touch to ask if I felt like blogging about mulled wine from around the world, using some wine from the Waitrose Cellar, I remembered that I'd also bought an extra sugar hat for myself. I hadn't got around to using it last Christmas, so I dug it out of the pantry and had a go.

My friend has a whole contraption that he sets up to hold his sugar hat in place and keep the equipment stable, but I had to improvise with a regular kitchen slice balanced on top of the pan.

If you're not passing through Germany yourself, you could get a similar effect by dissolving sugar and rum in the wine, but you'd probably want to reduce the amount of spirits if you weren't burning off most of the alcohol!


Feuerzangenbowle (German Mulled Wine)
For 2 bottles

1 orange
1 lemon
2 bottles red wine (I used Karl H. Johner Pinot Noir)
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1 sugar hat
½cup rum
  1. Zest and juice the orange and lemon.
  2. Gently warm the wine in a large pan, along with the orange and lemon juice, zest, and spices.
  3. Ensure the sugar hat is at room temperature.
  4. Warm the rum, just gently, so that it will burn easily.
  5. Pour enough rum over the sugar hat to saturate it, and light with a match.
  6. Add more rum as required, until the sugar has all dissolved and melted into the wine.
  7. Stir and (optionally) strain before serving.
German mulled wine

German mulled wine

German mulled wine


Rachel said...

It looks suitably dramatic for a festive occasion!

mypixieblog said...

WHAT? This is amazing. I can't believe I've never heard of a sugar hat before! What a dreadful excuse for a German I am :p That said, I was literally talking about making mulled wine just yesterday. There's actually a German place in the city called Rolf's that is incredibly festive for Christmas (so many low-hanging lights/decorations, you'll feel like you stepped into a storybook). Best part? They make a fantastic mulled wine. I'll have to see where I can find sugar hats so I can make this at home :)

Stuart Vettese said...

That is surreal, never seen anything like it before Rachel :D

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Love the sugar hats and had never heard of them before.

Johanna GGG said...

I have these visions of creating a structure out of sugarcubes and using that - would be fun if it didn't collapse everywhere - the sugar hat looks spectacular with the flames

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche said...

This is genius!! I've never seen these before but it looks like they make mulled wine way more fun to make (though I think I'd probably knock it over and set my kitchen on fire...)

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