Gluhwein, German mulled wine, brings back a lot of memories for me. From when I was in Germany as a student, to Christmas time in Edinburgh, it has been a simple treat many a time. With gentle spices, it’s wonderfully warming and perfect for colder weather.
Gluhwein is the German term for mulled wine that you’ll see in every Christmas market in Germany and Austria during December. It’s also a regular on many cafe menus and naturally it’s enjoyed at home, too. For me, it was a staple when I was a student in Germany, often served with a slice of stollen on the side. It was the perfect way to properly warm up during the cold winter days, and wind down after studying. The gently sweet, warmly spiced and warmly heated wine is also perfect for sharing.
My parents have a bit of a tradition of going to the ‘watchnight’ service at the local church on Christmas eve – it goes by other names but it’s the service that goes over midnight. While I didn’t go that often myself, I did sometimes join in with having a glass of gluhwein when they came back. It was a lovely way to welcome in Christmas without any of the excitement of presents as the little ones have now.
How it’s made
It’s easy to make as all you do is put everything in a pan and gently warm it over a medium-low heat. That’s it. The only important thing to remember is to just warm it – don’t boil. Be a little patient, and the spices will gently infuse and do their wonder.
Gluhwein is relatively simple, but such a wonderfully warming drink that’s synonymous with this time of year for me. But even without those memories, it’s something you should try and make a part of your own winter traditions.
Gluhwein is an easy and wonderfully warming drink perfect for cold weather.
- 1 cup red wine 240ml, approx 1/3 bottle
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 5 cloves
- 3 pieces orange rind
- 1 tbsp sugar plus a little more to taste, as needed
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp water
Put all of the ingredients in a small pan and warm over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Warm until it is steaming and reduce the heat - you ideally want to warm it at least 10 minutes, but nearer 20 is better, so the flavors infuse and sugar dissolves. Don't let it boil.
Remove the spices and orange rind from the pan and serve warm, topped with orange slices if you like, adding a little more sugar or honey to taste.
Note - you can use a bit more wine/juice with the same level of spice. If you want to warm a whole bottle, triple the wine, sugar, orange juice and water but probably just double the spices.
Try these other drinks perfect for the season:
See all the other holiday cocktails being shared today:
- Bourbon Flipby Sunday Supper Movement
- Buttery Nipple Cocktail by Positively Stacey
- Candy Cane Cocktail by My Blissful Mess
- Cranberry Moscow Mule by Restless Chipotle
- Ginger Caramel Apple Mule by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Mincemeat Manhattan by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Mulled Cranberry Vodka Cocktail by Food Lust People Love
- Snow Honey Cocktail by Our Good Life
- Sugar Plum Martini by Pies and Plots
Winter Wines and Punch
- Apple Cider Sangria by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Christmas Party Punch by Palatable Pastime
- Cranberry Champagne Cocktail by The Freshman Cook
- Gluhwein (German Mulled Wine) by Caroline’s Cooking
- Rosemary and Blood Orange Sangria for a Party by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
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