Glühwein — The drink of the season


In a few plain words, glühwein is a mulled wine — a wine combined with spices and typically served warm. Those who have tried it know how to enjoy it: outside with friends on a wintry evening when the air is crisp and daylight has gone early.

When the drink’s sweet smell fills the air, you know that Christmas is right around the corner. Whatever the national name — Nordig Glögg, British mulled wine or Romanian Vin Fiert — glühwein has a long tradition. One of the oldest cookery books, “De Re Coquinaria,” of Ancient Rome, shows how to prepare “Conditum Paradoxum,” a spiced wine served hot.

There are many versions of glühwein, even some without alcohol, so everybody can enjoy this seasonal drink. Once the winter season has arrived, many people flock to the nearest Christmas market to enjoy a glass of glühwein.


Yummy pic/Shutterstock.com

To enjoy glühwein at home, try this:

Mix 3/4 liters of red wine with 1/4 liters of water, three cloves, two cinnamon sticks, and two pieces of star anise. Heat it up slowly without boiling. Cut one lemon and half an orange into slices and add them. Leave the heat on for one hour, then add sugar to taste. This recipe can be adjusted to personal taste.

You can also purchase the pre-mixed glühwein and add a bit of rum and amaretto, seven cloves, two sticks of cinnamon and slices of orange

Or try some of these specials and mix it up this holiday season:

White Vanilla
1 bottle of dry, white wine of choice
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp. cloves
2 star anise
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon “gingerbread spice” (look for ‘Lebkuchengewürz’ at any German supermarket)
1 vanilla bean
3-4tablespoons sugar, honey or agave nectar

Red Cranberry
1 bottle of dry red wine of choice
500 millilitres cranberry juice
80 millilitres orange liquor (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 apple, sliced
optional: dried cranberries (add before serving)

Oksana Shufrych / Shutterstock.com

White Apple Cinnamon
1 bottle of dry white wine of choice
400 millilitres strong apple tea
30 grams fresh ginger, sliced
1 organic orange, sliced
50 millilitres brown rum
3 tablespoons honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 apple, thinly sliced (add just before reheating)

Apple Wine
1 litre apple wine of choice
100 millilitres water
3 tbsp. sugar
3 cloves
2 lemons, sliced

Roman Stetsyk / Shutterstock.com

Orange Prosecco
0,75 litre Prosecco
0,25 litre freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
40 millilitres elderflower syrup
60 millilitres orange liquor (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
1 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
Zest of one orange

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