Purim: Isn’t that the chag when we’re allowed to get really drunk? Actually, while hitting the bottle is almost as synonymous with Purim as dressing up, this isn’t an excuse to go all out and get blind drunk.
The Talmud tells us that “A person should drink on Purim until the point where they can’t tell the difference between ‘Blessed is Mordechai’ and ‘Cursed is Haman’.” In other words, we are permitted to drink to the point where we can’t intelligently debate which aspect of God’s revelation is greater, because, in fact it’s all the same. And importantly, we should not become so drunk that we forget to perform the mitzvot. So getting sozzled in moderation is key – one guideline is to drink just a little more than one usually does to induce a slightly higher level of blurriness, but no more.
So time to choose your poison, as it were.Purim is clearly the most festive of all chaggim, and our alcohol should fit its level of revelry. In addition, those of us in the Northern hemisphere celebrate Purim during the cold of winter, so what can be more fitting to quaff than a spicy, warm glogg (pronounced, says my friend Ann, “glerg”). So here’s a quick and easy recipe for a core warming libation that will put a smile on everyone’s face, a stagger in their step and a check mark next to the list of mitzvot we must perform on Purim.
Wishing you all a very happy and just slightly inebriated Purim!
750 ml (25 fl oz) dry red wine (1 regular bottle)
½ cup gin or vodka
½ cup raisins (optional)
1/3 cup sugar
Peel of one orange (use a vegetable peeler to remove only the rind of the orange – no white)
2 large cinnamon sticks broken up
2 cardamom pods opened up
6 whole cloves
How to do it
1. In a large pot or saucepan, stir together the wine, vodka/gin, sugar and raisins.
2. Please the orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in a spice bag (you can make this using a piece of doubled over cheese cloth, placing the spices in the middle, bringing the corners together and tying it up with a piece of clean string); or you can be lazy and throw it all in the pot and strain the liquid when you are done. Please the spices in the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer, without boiling. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove the spice bag or strain the liquid, and discard the spices.
3. Serve in a punch bowl or in a metal bowl that you can keep warm over a flame.
Serves about 8. Warning: This drink packs a punch!