Traditional recipes

Gluhwein recipe

Gluhwein recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Drink
  • Cocktails

Anyone who has been to a European Christmas market knows this festive mulled wine. Let it warm you up throughout the winter!

255 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 175ml water
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 bottle red wine

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:45min

  1. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer.
  2. Cut the orange in half, and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel, and place peel in the simmering water. Continue simmering for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
  3. Pour in the wine, and heat until steaming but not simmering. Remove the clove-studded orange halves. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses may break.)

Watch how!

Watch how to make your own warming mulled wine - including a non-alcoholic version - in our How to make mulled wine video

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(279)

Reviews in English (204)

by SERVANTMARA

As someone who lives in Germany, this is the biggest holiday hit you can find! It is available everywhere in towns and the popular christmas markets and this is exactly how to make it. Although, I wouldn't add the water, but instead substitute orange juice to give it more of a zest. Drink it while it's hot!-15 Oct 2002

by Brenda Mills

Outstanding!!! I made this recipe with two 1.5 L bottles of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon. I quadrupled the rest of the ingredients and subsituted orange juice for the water. After simmering the juice mixture I transfered it to the crock pot set on high and added the wine. After it was hot I kept it warm. It happened to be Halloween and 30 degrees outside so I offered "to go" cups to the parents of the trick or treaters! They loved it! This is a fabulous recipe and one that I will make throughout the holidays! Thanks for sharing!-01 Nov 2003

by JULIE MICHNA

This was my contribution to a house party I attended. I used Merlot that I bottle myself and substituted 1/2 the water with Tropicana orange juice. I also removed the simmering oranges from the pot, removed the cloves, sliced the oranges into thick slivers and returned them to the pot. I then transferred everything to a crock pot to keep warm. It was a great hit with the guests and I will certainly make it again, and again. Many thanks for this keeper.-16 Mar 2003


Three Simple Gluhwein Recipes: Make Your Own German Mulled Wine

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Bru-nO

A steaming mug of gluhwein is one of the most delicious ways to get into the holiday spirit. Try one of these simple gluhwein recipes at home. You’ll know exactly the quality of the wine, you can control the amount of sugar that goes in and tweak the spices to make your German mulled wine taste just the way you like it.

In Germany, wintertime means Christmas markets. From the biggest city to the smallest village, if you go looking, you are certain to find a smattering of little wooden huts selling baked apples, handmade gifts, bratwurst, and the ultimate cold-weather staple, German mulled wine, or gluhwein.

Fun fact: Translated literally, gluhwein means glowing, or smoldering wine.

Sipping a hot drink on a cold day is one of the greatest pleasures of winter. We have three simple gluhwein recipes to get you into the holiday spirit. Whether you prefer the classic red German mulled wine, the less common white wine version, or a non-alcoholic gluhwein, your homemade gluhwein is guaranteed to taste much better than anything you could hope to find in the grocery store.


Glühwein

The addition of rum to this Christmas market classic works really well – we've added some here to compensate for the evaporation of alcohol during cooking, but it’s not essential, if you prefer your drinks a little less punchy

Published: October 27, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Try our mulled wine recipe, then check out our mulled beer and more winter cocktails.

Feuerzangenbowle (or ‘fire-tongs punch’) is a German drink that’s made by flaming sugared rum over mulled wine, like this glühwein. Although it is bit complicated – and a little dangerous to make at home! – you’ll see the sugar cones dripping into steaming cauldrons of wine at German markets. Recreate your own festive market at home with our bratwurst sausages in a bun, flammkuchen, lebkuchen biscuits and more Christmas market recipes.

Ingredients

  • red wine 1 bottle
  • soft light brown sugar 100g
  • cloves 4
  • cinnamon 1 stick
  • orange 1, sliced
  • lemon ½, sliced
  • star anise ½
  • bay leaf 1
  • dark rum or brandy 50ml (optional)

Method

Mix all the ingredients together (except the rum or brandy, if using) in a large pan and warm over a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and steaming, but not boiling. Stir in the rum or brandy for the final minute, if using. Ladle into mugs or heatproof glasses, discarding any aromatics.


How to make gluhwein?

This versatile and amazing mulled wine can be done in more ways. My mom, for example, makes it strong and spicy, I like it spicy nicely balanced with sweet ingredients.

For today, I took one of the best red wines I have, as I like to drink a good tasting Gluhwein. I poured one bottle of Saperavi wine in a big saucepan and left it until it boils. When it boils (5-7 minutes only as I try not to boil off the alcohol) I add a lot of spices: cardamom, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, sugar, black pepper, one shot of brandy, a cup of orange juice, and some orange zest or slices. I leave 2-3 minutes more to boil until all the ingredients have unified and left an unbelievable aroma in the air. It is a pleasant temptation to always try some of it until it is boiling. Many recipes suggest boiling up to 30 minutes, but I think it is too long as I try to maintain the alcohol in the mulled wine in order to feel the nice taste from the wine. However, you can choose what type of drink you like more – a stronger one, or a childish cocktail:).

Pour in a nice glass or mug and decorate it with some cinnamon sticks and orange zest and serve immediately while hot.

This hot spiced mulled wine will be one of your sweet indulgences after a hard-working day.


Non-Alcoholic Glühwein

This Non-Alcoholic Glühwein can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old alike. A perennial German Christmas market favorite, this warm drink is a great alternative to serve at a holiday party for those who don’t drink or for kids.

Glühwein is a mulled wine that is a fixture at Christmas markets in Germany and in many other European countries. As you stroll through the market, admiring the charming artisanal holiday-themed accessories, the cold breeze wafts the spicy-sweet steam of glühwein as it billows out of a simmering cauldron. It’s sometimes served in a small porcelain boot-shaped mug with the name of the local city written on it. Pay one or two Euros more and you can keep the cool little boot mug as a souvenir.

Traditional Glühwein is made, of course, with wine. Therefore, I started with a base of grape juice and blended in some pomegranate juice for complexity of flavor. The spices vary among the many versions of glühwein but there are a few that are classic, namely cinnamon, clove, and star anise. I also added in a bay leaf for the rounded depth it provides. Orange and lemon are common, so I kept both in my version. Sugar is also typically added but since this one is made with fruit juice, no sugar is needed here, as the juices as plenty sweet.

It still needed the tannic mouthfeel that is present in wine but absent in grape juice. I immediately turned to tea to impart it’s astringent character. You can use black tea, or even green tea. The amount used isn’t enough to actually taste the tea, but it does make a difference in the final taste profile.


Mulled Wine

You may know it as gluhwein or glogg, but the direct translation of what the French call, vin chaud, or "hot wine" is a pretty fun thing to call it, too. Granted, calling it hot wine takes away a bit of the romance and mystery that can surround this traditional holiday-time drink, but it makes people laugh, and that's not nothing.

Many pre-mulled, just-heat-it-up versions are available for sale, of course, and some of them even reflect the regional differences between the many areas of Europe where Christmas time tends to involve a noted chill in the air and mulled wine is a tradition. Yet homemade mulled wine is so easy to make and so easy to customize, you might want to give it a try:

  1. First things first, you're going to pour a bottle (750 ml) of dry red wine* into a medium saucepan.
  2. Add 6 whole cloves, 4 whole star anise, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. You may also want to use 2 juniper berries and/or 2 cardamom pods as well.
  3. Bring the mixture just barely to a simmer over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Seriously, you just want bubbles to have started to form along the edges of the pan. Too much bubbling means too much heat, and heat cooks off alcohol, which is far from the point of mulled wine, and can also alter the balance of the wine too much as well as bring out unwanted bitterness in the spices.
  4. While the wine heats cut 1 orange crosswise into slices (about 1/4-inch thick is good) and add them to the wine. Adjust the heat to keep the very gentle simmer going and "mull" the wine for about 10 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture into mugs and serve hot - feel free to float a wine-infused orange slice in each cup for dramatic effect.

Watch Now: Simple Mulled Wine Recipe With Brandy and Cinnamon

Variations! Mulled wine—even proper gluhwein or traditional glogg—has as many variations as it has makers. Play around with the some of the flavors below (or come up with your own!) to create your perfect version of this comforting cold-weather favorite:

  • Make the final drink sweeter by adding more sugar—add just a tablespoon at a time and taste after each addition to avoid over-sweetening.
  • Use honey or agave syrup in place of the brown sugar for a different flavor.
  • Add more or less (or leave out) any of the spices based on your taste.
  • Plop a whole nutmeg in or add a few gratings of nutmeg to each serving.
  • Add slices of lemon, pear, or apple along with or in place of the orange (Meyer lemons are a particularly delightful twist).
  • Kick it up a notch by adding a splash (or more) of brandy or rum to the proceedings
  • Follow a British practice and start with port instead of dry red wine (in this case, you don't need to add sugar!).
  • Mimic some German versions and use a fruit wine (raspberry wine or blueberry wine are good options) in place of dry red wine.
  • Add dried fruit such as raisins, currants, or figs. If you do this, fish them out before serving or make eating the wine-soaked fruit at the end part of the treat.

*The wine gets spices and sugar added to it along with being heated up, but you still drink it. On the one hand, don't break the bank with a fine bottle, but on the other hand, make sure to use a wine that you'd want to drink anyway.


How to make Glühwein

The icy winter months have inspired me to explore the German delight, Glühwein, and with a cold snap rumoured to be on its way, I know what I’m looking forward to this weekend.
When researching Glühwein, I found an overwhelming number of different mulled wine recipes, each one claiming to be the best. Doubtful of the authenticity of all these recipes, I asked for advice from my German friend Sarah and, after a few quick phone calls to her family, she got back to me with the simplest recipe instructions I have ever received – ‘cinnamon, cloves, lemon, a little bit of sugar, red wine and… never ever bring to the boil!’

All I added to the mix was star anise, a couple of cardamom pods and I finished it off with a slice of orange rind. This recipe was an absolute pleasure to make and even lovelier to drink – I now understand why ‘glow wine’ has remained such a treasured tradition for centuries. Download printable version.

Ingredients for four glasses:
1 bottle of red wine (750ml)
1 lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 star anise
3 tbsp of brown sugar (You can substitute the brown sugar with honey for a slightly different flavour)
4 thin slices of orange rind (optional)

Method:
1.
Slowly heat the red wine in a large saucepan or pot (don’t bring to the boil at any point as this will cause the alcohol to evaporate).
2. Slice the lemon and add it to the wine along with the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and sugar.
3. Stir slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes (again, don’t allow it to boil).
4. Remove the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and lemon slices.
5. Pour into individual glasses (a ladle works well) and finish off by adding a thin slice of orange rind to each glass. Serve hot.
If you don’t have heat-proof glasses, you can prevent normal glasses from cracking by placing them in warm water for a few moments before filling them with the hot Glühwein.


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Heat the wine and sugar in a pot over low heat. Stud the orange slices with the cloves and add the orange slices, lemon slices, cinnamon, allspice and cardomon pods to the wine. Simmer for a couple of hours.

Nutrition

View line-by-line Nutrition Insights&trade: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.

Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.

Calories per serving: 84

Get detailed nutrition information, including item-by-item nutrition insights, so you can see where the calories, carbs, fat, sodium and more come from.


Heat the wine and sugar in a pot over low heat. Stud the orange slices with the cloves and add the orange slices, lemon slices, cinnamon, allspice and cardomon pods to the wine. Simmer for a couple of hours.

Nutrition

View line-by-line Nutrition Insights&trade: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.

Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.

Calories per serving: 84

Get detailed nutrition information, including item-by-item nutrition insights, so you can see where the calories, carbs, fat, sodium and more come from.


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