I spent Christmas in Germany a few years ago and found this amazing drink called Glühwein (pron: glue-vine) that’s served in all the Christmas markets and restaurants the entire holiday season.  It’s basically a hot spiced mulled red wine that tastes and smells just like Christmas.  I fell in love with it and have been making it every Christmas ever since then to remind me of the fun time we had in Germany.  With a bit of trial and error, I’ve perfected the simple recipe to suit my tastes, which is not to sweet with a hint of citrus and a burst of cinnamon and cloves.


  • ½ – ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 20 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 bottles of red wine (I use 2 buck chuck from Trader Joes)


Bring the sugar and water  to a rolling boil.

Cut the lemon and orange in half and squeeze the juices from both halves of both fruits into the pot with the sugar and water.  Add the cinnamon stick.

Stick 10 cloves in each half of the orange and place in the pot (clove side down) along with the lemon halves and simmer the mixture on low for 30 minutes.  Your house will start to smell like Christmas at this point….

Pour in the first bottle of red wine and heat on low.  Taste the mixture, and if it is too sweet for your liking then add some of the 2nd bottle of wine.  I typically use 1.5 bottles of red but sometimes use 2 full bottles when I have more people coming over.

It’s important to heat the wine but never let it come to a boil because the alcohol will cook out of it!

Serve in mugs with optional cinnamon sticks for straws.

Here’s a picture of the Christmas market in Köln, Germany, at the base of the Dom Cathedral (Kölner Dom), which was one of my favorites:


3 responses to “Glühwein

  1. Holidays abroad are the greatest. They inspire so many new holiday traditions!

  2. Sounds yummy! Much like the Wassail recipe I have except it uses apple cider.

  3. Pingback: 冬はホットで♪KALDIのグリューワインをマグで楽しもう7つのシーン – Bon Zakka

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