Winter's Brew (Glühwein)

A few weeks ago, one of my husband's friends brought us a huge bag of juicy sweet raisins from Turkey. They were so good, but unlike the raisins we buy here, they had seeds in them. I wanted to find a way to enjoy them while they're still fresh, so I brought out my crock pot and came up with this drink. It's a warm, sweet mulled-spices drink. It tastes just like German Glühwein - except it's completely alcohol free. It's a great family-friendly alternative to hot apple cider. It's so good, if I do say so myself! :)

Winter's Brew (AF Glühwein)

2 cups raisins
Peel of 1 orange
1/4 cup dried elderberries (great for colds and congestion - get it in the bulk herbs section of your local health food store)
1 whole nutmeg (use one you've already grated from)
1 dried clove (use more if you like - I just like a hint of it)
1 small stick cinnamon
Cheesecloth or nutmilk/nylon bag

Place everything in your nylon (nutmilk) bag or a large piece of cheesecloth. Tie the bag or, if using cheesecloth, gather ends together and tie at the top. Place in a crock pot/electric ceramic cooker. Fill with water 1 inch from the top (I don't know the exact capacity of my crock pot - but it's large - though the pic below doesn't represent that well). 

Turn crock pot to the highest setting and place the top on it. Every few hours, use a large spoon to press on bag (to help crush the softened raisins).

Let your brew stew for 6-8 hours. More sugar will be released from the raisins the longer you stew it- and the sweeter it will be.

Serve warm! This is a delicious drink to serve at parties or to enjoy with family on a cold day.

Tip: The elderberries give this a great fruity taste. If you can't find them, try frozen cherries or dried blueberries.

I hope you'll give this a try!


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