Glühwein (‘glowing wine’) is a popular mulled wine with a tradition in German speaking countries and the Alsace region of France, especially during the holidays when it is offered at Christmas markets. One taste, and there’s no doubt about the reason for the popularity; it’s a delicious, flavorful winter drink that instantly warms and comforts. It’s also easy to make this speciality at home on your stovetop with an added bonus — your kitchen will be filled with beautiful holiday aromas.
There are a number of Glühwein variations, and many family favorite recipes differ slightly. Some recipes call for anise star, vanilla bean, or a splash of brandy, and there is a non-alcoholic version (‘Kinderpunsch’). But, the best Glühwein recipes have traditional basics in common — heated red wine, spices, sugar and citrus, so we recommend you start with the recipe below (Zola’s personal favorite), and if you’d like to tweak it, experiment with added or adjusted ingredients and different wines when making the next batch. And, there will be a next batch because you, your family and friends will love this holiday magic in a mug.
1 bottle Red Wine. Use any good quality (but not expensive) big, bold and full-bodied red wine (Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Zinfandel, or try a blended red wine).
2 cups Water
4 – 5 Tablespoons Sugar (adjust to your liking)
1 Cinnamon Stick
3 – 6 Whole Cloves
2 – 4 Allspice Berries
1 Orange (sliced)
1 Lemon (sliced)
- Put water, sugar, and spices into a large saucepan or casserole dish placed on a stovetop, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Add the wine, orange and lemon slices. Heat through until the wine is steaming, but be careful to not boil and don’t let it simmer.
- Remove the cinnamon stick, cloves and allspice berries. Serve immediately in mugs, or store cooled Glühwein in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and reheat later to steaming in a saucepan (heat up slowly and do not boil).
Notes: Makes approximately 5 servings. Recipe can be doubled, or triple for a really big holiday party.
Feuerzangenbowl (‘Fire Tongs Punch’) is a German celebratory wine punch often served during the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve, featuring a lighted, rum soaked sugar cone dripping into a hot bowl of Glühwein. It is quite a show! Watch Chef Uwe Rudnick explain how it’s done in this demonstration video.
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Feature Glühwein photo: Hannah Permberton/Unsplash CC0