Grzaniec (pronounced Gshzah-nee-ets) is a wonderful drink to enjoy during the Christmas preparations.
Between temperatures beginning to drop, outdoor Christmas decorations, shopping, and other outdoor activities, something warm (and soul warming) can make the holidays... brighter. Especially if you are lucky enough to enjoy shopping at an outdoor Christmas market, such as those offered in Chicago or throughout Europe.
We are personally hoping and planning on enjoying the Christmas market at Wroclaw's Rynek next year. A mug of Grzaniec will be in my hands.
Before you make Grzaniec, enjoy this video I found of Wroclaw's Christmas Market last year.
Grzaniec is really just a way to warm and flavor red wine and the variations are many.
In my own personal experience, the different recipes vary based on region, family traditions, and the flavor of the wine that you purchase (which, years ago, different regions had different wines available to them).
Here is the version I made last night.
1 quart of Red Wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup Local Honey
1 Cinnamon Stick
5 whole Cloves, lightly crushed
1 whole Nutmeg
1/2 Bay leaf
1 tablespoon Orange Zest
Place the cloves into a spice ball or place all the spices into a cheesecloth bag.
Add all ingredients to a pot and bring almost to a boil, stirring to make sure the honey completely melts and mixes into the wine.
Serve steaming hot in a mug.
Smacznego! Or rather, Na zdrowie!...
This post was inspired by the Embassy of Poland in D.C. I'd love for you to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Local wine is a great option for this as it goes well with the local honey. Also, it's more environmentally responsible.
Don't Drink and Drive! I lost a friend to a drunk driver years ago. He was only 19 years old and all of his friends were basically just kids and mourning his senseless murder. Please don't be a part of that...