Gather your ingredients: make the simple syrup, and some lemon twists.
Chill the champagne or sparkling white wine. Also traditionally a Mosel Riesling from the Mosel region of Germany.
I am using a cocktail shaker because I am not going to make a pitcher or punch bowl full.
I also like to blend and really chill down the ingredients.
Make some twists by peeling the yellow skin of a washed lemon.
Wrap them around a round stick, like a wooden spoon or anything similar. In 5 minutes they will take on the shape.
Lemon balm mint is traditional but I am using just a spearmint.
I used a glass that was about 4 oz. or 1/2 cup. Pour 2 glasses of the Riesling in the shaker for 2 drinks over some washed ice. Why wash the ice? Because it does absorb flavors from the freezer.
Add 2 tablespoons of simple syrup.
Add the juice of one lemon, 1/2 lemon per drink.
I added the lemon and mint and let it sit in the fridge for a minute so the flavors will infuse. Meanwhile I'll prepare the glasses and open the champagne.
Pour the wine into the glasses with the twist hanging over the edge. Some say this is the traditional "duck" position.
Next pour some champagne into the glass.
Garnish with a Sprig of mint and serve!
Many Germans make it in a pitcher that looks something like a duck.
The pour narrow top and pour spout look a bit like the head of the duck
and the handle a wing.
Why do they call this Kaltes Ente or Cold Duck?
According to the legend Prince Clemens Wenceslaus, the last Archbishop and Elector of Trier for a feast on the terrace of the Koblenz castle ordered all the ends of the wines to be combined with champagne which they flavored with lemon and mint and served it at the end of the meal so they called it Kaltes Ende or Cold End. Usually a hot coffee or mocha was served. At some point in time the name was altered to Kaltes Ente or cold duck.
The planting of Riesling in Germany was originally almost an accident. It had been brought into Germany in the Middle Ages by the monks, who traded varieties across t areas covered by their efforts at viticulture. Just as Pinot Noir (or Spätburgunder) was dispersed eastward from Burgundy to the Mosel and Rhine basins, Riesling came northwestward from Austria (it is thought, under the influence of the Church) to the Mosel.
Riesling seems to positively thrive on poor soil. Simple crumbled slates, sandstones, calcareous marls, volcanic tuffs, and other lean root environments seem to bring out a kind of elegant style in the grape. If it’s planted in excessively loamy soil, it can lose that elegance.
Riesling wines get the bad rap of always being sweet. And it is true that modern trends have assigned this role to Riesling in certain production areas. However, we know that this sweetness is optional and not at all necessary for the wine if it is made from grapes of good quality. Germans drink their Riesling usually quite dry, and if the grapes are ripe, this dryness is not unpleasantly sharp. I’d like to distinguish between sweet Riesling and noble sweet Riesling. In the former, the sugar is often produced by beets or canes and is added to the must. As necessary as this may be in less successful vintages, it cannot produce great wines.
When Riesling is allowed to ripen slowly in the foggy river valleys of the Mosel or Rhine, sometimes it’s benefited by an outbreak of the noble rot Botrytis cinerea. The tiny mycelia of this fungus pierce the grape skin and allow water to escape during the warm, sunny autumn days, and assist in acquiring further concentration, both of sugars and acids. Then it’s up to the vintner whether to leave some of this sugar in the wine or ferment it to dryness. A little extra sulfite seems to be all that’s required to stop fermentation, if that’s what the choice is.
Then in the 19th century a disastrous series of deep winter freezes killed most of the Pinot Noir roots but left the Riesling plantations healthy. After this experience the authorities encouraged replanting the freeze-ravaged areas with Riesling. Today it is successfully grown in some of the more severe climates where Vitis vinifera has been able to survive, including my own home state of Michigan.
In the German-speaking world (Germany itself, Austria, and Alsace) Riesling takes center stage and is the grape from which all the greatest wines are made. In these northerly latitudes, Riesling must be planted to the best sites if it is to ripen predictably, and takes a full two weeks longer to come to harvest than other grapes grown here. Why plant a grape with the disadvantage of slow ripening in a cool climate?
As centuries of winemaking history have shown, this disadvantage can be converted into an advantage under the right conditions. In the best years, Riesling is hanging on the vines well past Allerheiligentag; the first day of November’s All Saints vineyard worker’s holiday. Its property of positively requiring a long, slow, cool ripening means that it can acquire the most refreshing, cool, and complex acid structure of any variety. It’s this fruity tartness that focuses the wine’s other taste elements and invites sip after sip. Although all winegrowers anxiously watch the sugar levels in their ripening grapes, the Germans are just as conscious of the falling acidity and its change from the sharp malic to the rich, round tartaric variety.
I order from the German Deli more frequently than ever.
I try to get in bulk to make the shipping dollars count.
Also there are sales all the time I like to take advantage of.
They are nice folks. If you don't believe me call them.
and tell them Stephen Block sent you from the German Goodies Newsletter. Shop for German Food