Kalte Ente (German Cold Duck Wine) is a delightfully refreshing and tasty drink perfect for hot summers, brunch, or happy hour with friends and loved ones.
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I've been wanting to share more drink recipes with all of you. I've realized I haven't posted as many, well, mainly due to vanity reasons!
It's just that so many drink recipes out there come with exceptionally beautiful photos, and, with the exception of my pink gin spritz, mine feel a bit… unique in comparison. Beautiful pictures or not, taste is what truly matters, right?
what is Kalte Ente?
German "Kalte Ente", is a sparkling beverage primarily made from a blend of dry white wine and champagne or sparkling wine. The name "Kalte Ente" literally translates to "Cold Duck."
The drink dates back to the 18th century. It was coined by Clemens Wenzeslaus, Archbishop and Prince-Elector of Trier. After a banquet on the terrace of the Koblenz Castle, instead of the usual hot mocha, Wenzeslaus desired a 'cold end'.
He ordered to be served a drink comprising one bottle each of Mosel wine, Rhine wine, and champagne, flavoured with lemon.
The drink was so well-received that it soon became a staple at gatherings. Over the years, various adaptations of the original Cold Duck beverage emerged, both in Germany and abroad. In the United States, a version of cold duck wine which typically blended various leftover wines, was popularized.
- organic lemons - because we are using the lemon peels in this recipe, you want to go for organic lemons, free of unwanted lemon pesticides such as synthetic pesticides or herbicides.
- chilled, dry white white - this is the base of the punch.
- water and sugar - we are going to use this to make the sugar syrup, which helps balance out the tart flavors of the wines.
- fresh vanilla pod.
- sparkling wine - you can go for Champagne, or something less expensive. Either way, make sure it's of a good enough quality, so you do not end up with headaches!
- mint leaves for garnishing (optional).
what types of dry white wines should I use?
Go for light, dry white wine varieties. These are made from made from grapes that have been fermented to a low sugar content of less than 1% or about 4 grams per liter.
Mosel Riesling, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chablis are a few examples of wines you can use.
how should I serve it?
For the best-tasting cold duck drink, refrigerate it before serving to ensure it's thoroughly chilled. If you must serve it immediately, then at least ensure the ingredients, especially the syrup, white and sparkling wines, are chilled.
how to save the remaining Kalte Ente
Store the remaining Kalte Ente in jugs in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can freeze it too using an ice cube tray with lid but bear in mind that it may result in a more diluted cocktail.
- Use a combination of apple juice and light or sparkling grape fruit juice, to make this recipe alcohol-free.
- Adjust the syrup's sweetness to your preference by using more or less sugar.
Kalte Ente - German Cold Duck Drink
- 2 organic lemons
- 1.5 liters chilled, dry white wine (or 6¼ cups) such as Riesling
- 100 ml water
- 100 g sugar (or ½ cup)
- 1 fresh vanilla pod
- 1.5 liters sparkling wine (or 6¼ cups)
- mint leaves for garnishing (optional)
- Thoroughly clean the lemons with hot water, then carefully peel them in spirals, avoiding the bitter white pith. Place the lemon peels in a large punch bowl.
- Pour the chilled dry white wine over the lemon peels in a punch bowl and gently stir.
- In a small pot, combine 100 ml of water and 100 g of sugar. Use a knife to slice the vanilla pod lengthwise. Scrape out the paste using the back of a spoon.
- Add the vanilla paste to the pot. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar fully dissolves to form a syrup.
- Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.
- Squeeze lemon juice from the lemons to a cup, straining to remove any seeds. Add the sparkling wine, fresh lemon juice, and the sugar syrup to the punch bowl.
- Stir the mixture in the punch bowl to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, pour into glasses, garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves (optional), and serve.
- Use a combination of apple juice and light or sparkling grapefruit juice, to make this recipe alcohol-free.
- You can adjust the sweetness of the syrup by using more or less sugar, to suit your preference.