Lutendrank was the first historic spiced wine I tasted. The name means lute drink – or as my boyfriend calls it “gitar wine”. It is sweet and spiced and totally yummy. The batch I made last week started tasting kind of like good mead and now tastes very spiced but still totally delicious.
In Scandinavia and parts of Germany we drink hot spiced wine for Christmas – Glöck. This is the left over from the old practice of sweetening and spicing the wine. Some of the the renaissance and medieval spiced wines tastes kind of like Glöck. Lutendrank is not among them – though it is full of Christmas spices, it doesn’t taste like Christmas in a cup. We have had it before at larps and it was a big hit. So much so that the boys complained that I hadn’t made more.
The recipes I uses is this one. The source here is a original German cookbook by Anna Wecker from 1598 (from the Danish edition).
Lutendranck at berede.1
Disse effterskreffne Species skulle stødis groffve oc formengis.
Rec. Cardemomme 5. Lod.
Ingefer 3. Quintin.
Canel 4. Lod.
Muskater 3. Quintin.
Paradiskorn 1. Lod
Naar mand vil giøre to Støbicken eller otte Potter vijn til Lutendranck / da skal først sættis en Messing Pande paa Ilden/ met to Pund sucker/ oc aff fornæffnde Vijn to Potter der paa slaget. Lad samme Vijn met Suckeret bekomme en opsød. Naar Vijnen oc Suckeret nu siuder / dog giff 8. Lod af fornefnde støtte Species der vdi / strax tagendis det fra Ilden / igiennem en Lutendrancks Pose slaget/ der paa giff de andre 6. Potter Vijn kolde / oc lad en gang 3. eller 4. lecke igiennem samme Pose / indtil den bliffuer klar/ saa er hand beridt. Giffuer du en Skefuld sød Melck eller de huide aff et Eg der vdi / saa bliffver den strax klar
(Anna Weckerin: En artig oc meget nyttelig Kogebog, København 1648).
My additions is only to leave the wine in a closed glass container overnight before straining it. It is still very good after a week, but I ma not sure how long it will keep. Until it smells vinegary I guess.
Edit May 2017
I have fiddled with the recipe a bit and experimented with different wines and the amount of sugar needed. Below is my recipe for lutendranck, made with a young sweet German white wine. I like it better when the wine has sit overnight with the spices and is filtered the day after. I would suggest using this second recipe if you are going to try it your self. Depending on the sweetness of your wine you will need more or less sugar though.