2 August 2009

Glühwein Recipe

A few of you have asked for my secret glühwein recipe. Passed down the generations of my family, from mother to daughter...in whispers late at night by the fireplace on the eve of our 18th birthday. It was first learnt from a wandering monk who stopped at the house of my great great great great grandmother in Amsterdam one frosty winters evening as thanks for a place to stay for the night... or perhaps I just made it up as I went along...

Really the beauty of glühwein is that you can tailor it to your own tastes. I like mine to be rich in spices, however if that is not your cup of tea, then just reduce amount of spices you add. Just take this recipe as a base and then go in the direction that best suites your tastes.

To 4 liters of red wine you'll need:
  • Caster sugar (amount proportional to quality of red wine, the worse the wine the more sugar you need, add it to taste, but start with about 2 cups)
  • 6 - 8 cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves
  • 2 oranges
  • Whole allspice
  • 2 cups of orange juice - recently I tried this with mandarin juice and it was also lovely
  • If you wish to get your friends and yourself tipsy even more quickly, or just to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry or port to the mix (optional but rather tasty).
  1. Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – you must not let the wine boil or the world could end… and that is not something you want to risk...
  2. I tend to cut the oranges into slices and then put about 4 cloves into each slice, then put them in with the wine.
  3. Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as 10 of the whole all spice.
  4. Add in the sherry or port as well as 2 cups of orange juice.
  5. Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.
  6. Stir on and off for about 30 minutes to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed (possible up to 4 or 5 cups more in the wine is really bad).
  7. Let it cook/infuse/whatever for about 30 minutes more (again, not letting it boil).
  8. Drink and be happy!
Sometimes I like to add berries, which soak up the alcohol quite nicely and add to the cuteness of the drink.

Also, in a more glögg-esque version (The Swedish version of glühwein/mulled wine), having this with gingerbread is quite yummy.

I have also tried some consisting of amaretto with white wine instead, and that was also delicious - I'll post this and other variations on the glühwein theme in the future, so keep an eye out!

If you'd like something warm and spicy, but without alcohol, then try this delicious mulled apple cider recipe.


  1. Thanks, not gonna make it to the Christmas Markets in Germany this year so i have to make it myself.. very helpful, Thanks again

  2. You are very generous to share your family recipes. Its fantastic how the Internet now helps us record our family traditions and festivies. I've got my family Christmas pudding on one of my blogs. And, I hope you don't mind that I put this in my list of best Christmas Cooking Links on another blog, and on Twitter @frombecca

  3. I gave this recipe to my friend Merrenna who followed it and made "gluhwein" for the first time. She served it to the guests at the concert held in her house. It was absolutely delicious! See http://concertblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/sold-out-full-house-standing-room-only/

  4. I haven't used orange juice in mine. I use Triple Sec. Or Grand Mariner if you're made of money. And brandy. It is a wicked concoction. I also like the idea of slicing the oranges...I usually just cut it in two and put the cloves into the skin. Not too many. A dozen will do. I am snowed in today and so made a batch. It warms you up.

  5. thanks a lot! I'll make some Gluhwein so that my mexican friends know what i used to drink in the christmas markets in Germany! :D great stuff, thanks for sharing!

  6. wonderful!

    I followed the recipe and substituted a little Barenjager (Honey Liquer) I picked up from the PX in place of some of the sugar to give it a little personalization and extra "kick" instead of the sherry :)..it worked beautifully ..thank you much!

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Concert blog, it makes me very happy to hear your friend served this at her concert :)

    John the honey liquer sounds delicious. I will have to see if I can find some.

    I am thinking about using some sparkling grape juice in this when I make it next weekend instead of orange juice. I'll let you know how it goes!

  8. wow, surely am gonna try this one

  9. Thanks for this recipe!
    Never tried before... but I'll do!!! ;o))

  10. How much port or sherry do you add to this recipe?

  11. Thanks so much for this recipe! I posted a variation to AllRecipes.com (http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62573113/Gluhwein-mulled-wine/Detail.aspx) with a shout out to you guys. :)

  12. This is a FABULOUS gluhwine recipe! Thanks for sharing!!

  13. What kind of Red wine??? or does it matter

  14. I tried this recipe and I can say it is the greatest gluhwein I have tried. Even better than the one in the Christmas market.

  15. Thank you for sharing! Although, I had children's gluhwein, as I abstain from alcohol. Do you know of a way to make this delicious drink virgin for all ages? I would love to share it with my entire family.

  16. This was SENSATIONAL! I used a fairly cheap (but still drinkable) merlot-it was amazing. I didn't even use 2 cups of sugar. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  17. thanks!!!! im going make a recipe to my blog but i think i will try the one with some tee inside...nice blog!! i will follow it!!! thanks!!kisses from germany ( and greece)

  18. Thank you for the recipe! I'm making it today ~ Merry Christmas ~*~

  19. My great grandmother was Danish and she used grain alcohol which we bought at the drug store.

  20. I had not tried it yet even after making a few adjustments to satisfy me Irish taste buds. I hope to do so this year.
    I figure a little brandy and some mint leaves as a garnish and flavor would work nicely.

  21. Was in Vienna over Thanksgiving and we drank ourselves silly on gluhwein and alcoholic apple punch...decided to have a theme party and making your recipe as I type! (Added port to this batch). Yummy! Hope there will be enough for the guests...

  22. Great recipe, made the first small tester batch last weekend. Now to take it to Mt Buller for a ski weekend tomorrow

  23. My Bavarian mother would fortify her's by adding a shot of schnaps to each glass before serving. Point is that sitting on the stove all day, most of the alcohol evaporates. Instead of adding it to the pot and having the liquor lose all the alcohol too, try adding a dash to the cup when serving. Warning, you get thinker than you drunk. Fruit brandy's were always her preferred choice. Kirschwasser (Kirsch, cherry brandy) is my favorite

  24. I'll have to try this recipe, sounds better than those I've tried before, none of which compared to the real German market gluhwein. Thank you.


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