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Mulled beer – not everyone’s cup of tea

Christmas-time is perhaps the nicest season of the year. The temperatures outdoors are falling, and keep on falling , so you tend to stay at home more often for a cosy, hyggelig evening featuring gingerbread, Christmas cake and homemade biscuits, and prepare for the Christmas festivities with your family. But of course now and then you stroll through one Christmas market or another, and perhaps treat yourself to hot chestnuts and some mulled wine. But those who aren’t all that keen on classical “mulled wine” will quite often order themselves a mulled beer. Mulled beer? Never heard of it? This sweetishly quaffable, slightly tart drink is gaining steadily in popularity at our Christmas markets, and is in my opinion a genuine alternative to conventional mulled wine, grog, or egg-nog punch :-).

A beer to savour during Advent – but it’s a little bit different

Hot, malty beer, smelling of Christmas spices and with a sweetish-tart taste – doubtless not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s an interesting alternative! And the big advantage of mulled beer is this: it manages with practically no sugar at all, since traditionally it’s sweetened with just a bit of honey. So it’s perfect for staying slim over Christmas :-).

Belgian specialty with an undertone of cherries

Mulled beer has its roots in Belgium, by the way, where it’s called “Glühkriek” (Kriek = sour cherry). This out-of-the-ordinary “cheery beer” is produced in a lengthy process, and has a rather sourish-fruity taste. Belgium’s traditional Lambic beer, which takes about a year to produce, forms the basis for this cherry beer. The Lambic beer is matured in oak barrels for around ten months together with the freshly harvested cherries, before it’s bottled without the cherries, and can then be enjoyed warm as a kind of “mulled beer”.


Fast mulled-beer recipe to make at home

For one portion of mulled beer, you need around 0.5 l of bock beer

1 organic lemon

a bit of fresh ginger

2 tbs of honey

just a trace of cinnamon

A peeler, a fine sieve and if possible a kitchen thermometer

– and don’t worry, it won’t take you a whole year –

With the peeler, you first have to peel the organic lemon to produce ultra-thin strips. Cut the ginger into thin strips, and put both ingredients into a large pot. Add the honey and the cinnamon, and top up with the beer. Then just heat it up to about 60 degrees – for those of you without a thermometer: when it starts to become impossible to leave your finger in it, it’s about 70 degrees – then carefully pour the mulled beer through the fine sieve into a glass … and be sure to drink it while it’s hot :-).

I haven’t tried it out yet myself. But I’m keen to find out what it tastes like.

Quite definitely, however, I shall be sampling it next time I visit a Christmas market. If you’ve already acquired a taste for it, I would love to hear your opinions on mulled beer in the comments :-).

Oh, and by the way, mulled beer is a lot less alcoholically potent than mulled wine – so you can enjoy more of it.

And on this happy thought, I wish you a wonderful Advent!

Cheers 🙂

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