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Mulled wine from the Fortune Teller warms you inside and out
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Mulled wine from the Fortune Teller warms you inside and out

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SR The Fortune Teller Glühwein

The Fortune Teller Bar serves this traditional German drink throughout the cold winter months in St. Louis. Fragrant with spices and redolent of oranges, Glühwein warms both hands and hearts.

QI recently had some delicious hot mulled wine at the Fortune Teller Bar, and I’d love to have the recipe. — Mathilda Rose, Fenton

A • This bright, warm spiced drink marries dry red wine, spirits, liqueurs and spices in a gladsome blend that warms hands and hearts on cold nights. Although it is technically a mulled wine, it has a special history and name — glühwein.

“The German word glühwein literally means glowing wine,” co-owner Matt Thenhaus says. “It refers to the heat of the drink — both its temperature as well as the warmth that the boozy treat creates in your chest.”

The glow starts with the nose on this drink, a whiff of cinnamon, sweet and spicy. The deeply red Glühwein shows to best advantage served in old-fashioned pressed-glass punch cups. The brandy delivers a sweet smoothness while the liqueur adds the flavor and fragrance of oranges to the mix.

The spices — stick cinnamon, whole cloves and allspice berries — are nicely balanced with allspice taking the lead. This recipe encloses the spices in a tea ball, which is placed in the mix of wine, brandy, liqueur and brown sugar eight hours before heating the wine. The tea ball is removed prior to heating, rendering the mulled drink clear rather than muddied.

“In Germany, hot mulled wine is seen in the winter months, generally around the holidays. Bavarian taverns and restaurants will have a wholesome pot of Glühwein steaming behind the bar. Outdoor Christkindlmarkt (Christmas markets) are famous for it,” he says. “I’d like to say that my sweet German grandmother taught me this recipe, but I discovered glühwein during my travels in Germany.”

The Fortune Teller Bar doesn’t limit Glühwein only to the holidays. “St. Louis winters are too bleak to deny ourselves this cozy comfort. We serve it from the first hint of a chill in September through the last day of winter in March,” Thenhaus says.

The wine isn’t the only thing that warms at the Fortune Teller. This cozy, quirky bar on Cherokee Street is unusual in its décor, which combines memorabilia of the mystical arts with elements of a Victorian naturalist’s library and a classic cabinet of curiosities.

There’s an interesting liquor lab and library behind one front window and a space for fortunetellers set up in the other.

They also host interesting special events, which are updated often and listed on their Facebook page. You’ll find guest fortunetellers, tarot card readers and palmists in residence during the early evening hours several nights during the week. The bar holds a “Drink & Doodle” night the first Wednesday of each month, starting at 7 p.m., markers and pens supplied or bring your own.


The Fortune Teller Bar

2635 Cherokee Street

314-776-2337; thefortunetellerbar.com

See recipes from the top 100 restaurants in St. Louis

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