German Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) have already begun. There are hundreds of markets across the country that bring the atmosphere of Christmas to the cities. A delicious smell of typical food and Glühwein, the typical drink of the season.
Glühwein is a type of mulled wine, spiced with cinnamon, cloves, lemon and sugar. Its recipe varies slightly from place to place, so other spices can also be used. When I tried Glühwein for the first time it reminded me of a typical Brazilian drink. It’s not a Christmas drink, but the typical drink of June festivities: quentão.
There is no typical Christmas drink in Brazil. It’s Summer and we are used to drink cold beverages: wine, beer or soda. The colder the better!
In Winter, time for June festivities, we drink quentão ( “very hot” in English). June bonfire festivals honor St. Anthony, St. Joseph and St. Peter and take place in different parts of Brazil, especially in the Northeast. It’s my favorite celebration: typical food, forró (a kind of Brazilian music) and quentão.
Like Glühwein, quentão helps to warm up at cold nights. It is made with cachaça, water, ginger, cinnamon and clove. Pieces of fruit, like pineapple, or slivers of lemon and orange can be added to the recipe. It also varies according to the region of the country where it is made. There are some recipes with wine, but I personally prefer the traditional recipe with cachaça. How about trying it?
½ kg sugar
2 pineapples cut into cubes
1 glass of water
½ liter of good quality cachaça
3 cinnamon sticks
100g of chopped ginger
Make a syrup with sugar, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Add water and cachaça and simmer it for about 30 minutes. Finally, add the pineapple cubes and boil it for five minutes. The drink can be served strained or not.