04 January 2011


Merlin: Hot Winter Drink? Must be hoogvein! Also known as Glögg, Glühwein, Vin Chaud or just mulled wine. The difference between regular wine and hoogvein is, naturally, the temperature and the mulling spices. Traditionally - though it's made differently everywhere - the wine has generally been cooked with citrus, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods and cloves.
Rebecca: European Christmas markets always have mulled wine, but Tallinn's was served with add-it-yourself trail mix! I'm pretty convinced I could survive and possibly even thrive on a nut-filled hoogvein diet.
Merlin: Like I said earlier, we never bought anything in the market except for Hoogvein, but we did buy it fairly often. It was a nice thing to hold while walking through the frigid streets. Nobody can fault you, in the absence of to-go coffee, for carrying a hot beverage, even if it happens to be alcoholic. In fact, the liquor inures you more to the cold than tea, cocoa or coffee possibly could.
Rebecca: While I was home in New York, I visited the Union Square Christmas market and was dismayed to find that there was no hot wine available for purchase. Logically, I knew this would be the case, but some part of me was hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
Merlin: As you can see, most of the nuts and raisins sank to the bottom, so it was difficult to get at them until the end. It was also kind of tough to slurp up the ones that were floating on top - kind of like miniature apple-bobbing.
Rebecca: I was always careful to scope out the trail mix offerings so that I was sure to choose a vendor that had brazil nuts. I always thought my favorite nut was the brazil nut, but it turns out my real favorite nut is a wine-soaked brazil nut.
Rebecca: Hoogvein in cafes/restaurants is just not as good. Most in Estonia still included some peanuts and raisins, but they are far too sweet. I think it's because they feel they need to fill a bigger glass that they wind up diluting the nice wine flavor into a slightly spiked juice.

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