Ep41: Kate’s weird cookie anxiety (aka La Festa di San Silvestro)

Ep41: Kate’s weird cookie anxiety (aka La Festa di San Silvestro)

Welcome to Ep41: Kate’s weird cookie anxiety (aka La Festa di San Silvestro).

Melissa fills us in with a brief history of the popular German holiday beverage, feuerzangenbowle. Aimee talks about the history of Italian New Years, and the feast of Saint Sylvester. Pigs on leashes may be involved. Kate shares another interesting recipe. This time, for lasagna.

The featured drink this episode is Feuerzangenbowle.

Music by Andrew Huang.

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Recipe: Feuerzangenbowle

Recipe: Feuerzangenbowle

Feuerzangenbowle is the featured cocktail for Ep41: Kate’s weird cookie anxiety (aka La Festa di San Silvestro). It is a German mulled wine often consumed during the holiday season and can be found at German Christmas markets. Feuerzangenbowle (pronounced FOY-yer-tsang-en-bowl-eh) translates to fire tongs punch. Want to know more, be sure to check out episode 41!

Ingredients:

2 oranges

2 lemons

8 1⁄2 cups dry red wine

3 cinnamon sticks

5 cloves

1 dash ground ginger

1⁄2 lb sugar loaf (sugar cubes can work) *

2 cups brown rum (at least 54% alcohol/108 proof)

Directions:

  1. Wash the oranges and lemons thoroughly, pat dry and cut into slices or wedges.
  2. In a large pot add red wine, oranges, lemons, cinnamon and cloves. Heat up slowly and do not let the mixture boil.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and place it on a heating surface, stove or flame, that you can serve from (which you can place on the table, like the one you use for Fondue). Add ginger.
  4. Place the sugar loaf above the red wine mixture (about 1 inch above the surface). You can use a special “fire tongs”, which is made for this purpose. You can also a kind of wire netting to place the sugar loaf on.
  5. Soak the sugar loaf with rum and light up the alcohol. The sugar will melt and drip into the wine. Add rum (little by little) to keep the fire burning until the sugar loaf is used up.
  6. After the sugar loaf is used up stir gently and serve. Add lemon or orange wedges as a garnish if desired.

NOTE on equipment: there is a special equipment used in Germany, especially the fire tongs. You can make your own. It is important that the sugar can drop into the wine and that the sugar loaf cannot fall down or that the hot (melted) sugar can drop outside the pot.

* You can make your own zuckerhut by packing damp sugar into the mold of your choice, but it’s a fiddly process that involves drying overnight.

Recipe: Mulled Wine

Recipe: Mulled Wine

This mulled wine recipe is featured in Episode 19 “Everyone Hates Melissa”. It takes a little bit of time, but is super easy to throw together, and is super delicious. It’s also pretty easy to modify to your own liking.

INGREDIENTS:

1 (750-ml.) bottle red wine

1 c. apple cider

1 orange, caramelized, sliced into rounds, plus more for garnish

6 whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish

3 star anise

1/4 c. honey

1/2 c. brandy

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer not a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes. 
  2. Serve warm and garnish with more citrus slices and cinnamon sticks.

Recipe: Wine Jelly (The Original Jell-O Shot)

Recipe: Wine Jelly (The Original Jell-O Shot)

We mentioned how Thomas Jefferson invents the original Jell-O Shot on Episode 08: Disgusting Salads, Depressing Times. As promised, we wanted to include the recipe here for posterity.

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
4 cups water
2 cups Madeira or dry sherry
3 cups water
3 large egg whites, shells reserved
1 cup sugar
3 envelopes granulated gelatin
1 cup cold water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pare the rind from 2 of the lemons in long pieces with a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife. Juice the lemons and strain into a 2-quart saucepan. Add the rind, spice, and water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the Madeira or sherry and let it cool.
  2. Beat the egg whites until frothy. Crush the shells and beat them into the whites. Stir this into the wine mixture, return it to medium-low heat, and bring it slowly to a simmer. Meanwhile, wet a large piece of muslin (un-dyed plain cotton fabric), wring it out thoroughly, and line a wire strainer with it. Set this over a bowl that will just hold the strainer near its rim.
  3. When the egg has solidified and floated to the top, push it to one side and check the clarity of the liquid. If it is clear, skim most of the egg away and ladle the liquid into the trainer. Leave it to slowly drip into the bowl. (This takes some time, so be patient and do not stir or agitate it.) The liquid that drips through the strainer should be perfectly clear.
  4. Clean the saucepan and return the clarified liquid to it. Bring it back to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the sugar until dissolved, and simmer until the liquid is clear again. Meanwhile, put the gelatin in a large bowl and stir in the cool water. Let soften for 10 minutes and stir in the hot liquid. Continue stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved and the liquid is somewhat cooled. To speed up the cooling process, set the bowl in an ice bath and stir constantly until it is cold but not yet beginning to jell.
  5. Pour it into small, stemmed glasses or shallow champagne goblets, cover and chill until set, about 4 hours. Alternatively the jelly may set in a shallow pan, then be broken up with a spoon or knife, and spooned into stemmed glasses

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