Dec 19, 2013

German Glühwein (Hot Mulled Wine) Recipe


Well, I've talked about it enough...guess it's about time for me to give you guys a taste what all the fuss is about over here! It's no surprise that glühwein is my most favorite holiday drink in the world. Before moving to Germany, I'd never heard, nor tried this yummy spiced drink. More commonly known as mulled wine in the states, glühwein starts making its appearance in Germany as the last leaves of autumn fall to the ground and the cold December winds start to blow. Glühwein stands are a staple among German Christmas Markets, as I'm sure you know from reading my blog or following my adventures on Instagram. But one thing many people don't know is that glühwein is insanely simple to make at home. Yes, ladies & gentlemen...you can enjoy this treat year round if you wish!

I remember the first time I sipped a mug of warm glühwein. D and I had only been living in Germany 4 months and we ventured up to Cologne for our first Christmas market ever. Before our market visit, our new friends had mentioned that we must try this hot mulled wine Germany is so famous for serving. Being the wine fanatic that I am, you didn't have to tell me twice! The first sips, I'll admit, weren't my favorite. The aroma of cloves and mulling spices can totally take you aback. But as you continue to wander the markets, the cold air nipping at your nose (as they say), that glühwein starts to warm your bones and somehow leaks into your heart and stays forever. Or at least that's how it happened for me. I've now spent 3 Christmas seasons here in Deutschland consuming god knows how many mugs of glühwein and it's safe to say I've only grown to love it more. So much more that I've perfected my own glühwein recipe so we can enjoy it at home and share it with our friends and family back in the states! 


Truth be told, there are many ways glühwein can be made. Red wine, white wine, rosé...anything goes as long as it's not too sweet. You'll add sugar to it later. In addition, any combination of mulling spices seems to be acceptable. I'm not a big fan of star anise, but it seems to be found in almost every glühwein recipe I've tried. My recipe, however, omits it altogether. It's one of those drinks you can play around with, swapping out spices, spice amounts, and juices as you like. You can even make it stronger with the addition of liquors (like cherry or johannisberry--also known as red currents), but make sure you've got a DD on your hands if you go that route. This stuff goes down like buttah, so it's easy to forget what number mug you're on! I have to say, the formula I've concocted below has evolved to be my favorite yet. Enjoy a piping hot mug with a side of lebkuchen (gingerbread) and it'll be like you're right here in Germany with me!

German Glühwein
--Serves 4--

Ingredients:
1 bottle red wine (dry to medium dry)
1/2 orange, cut into slices
1/2 lemon, cut into slices
1/4 cup of fresh orange juice (from the other half of unsliced orange)
1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice (from the other half of unsliced lemon)
4 Tbsp. sugar
8 dried cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil for about 1 minute. Then reduce heat to low and allow wine to simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes. Serve with a small orange or lemon slice in a cute mug and ENJOY!!

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26 comments:

  1. Wow this sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like I will be making this for family! Yum!

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  2. I make my own (in the crockpot because we need lots) and I love it that you can change up the spices. I also always use brown sugar instead of white, gives it that extra somethin something :)

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  3. I have been waiting for this post! All these posts about this infamous drink, I knew a recipe had to be coming. You can't build it up like that then not share how to make it haha. Thank you for this!

    Jessie
    www.ssjess.com

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    1. Hahahaha I know, I know! Shame on me for not posting it sooner! Better late than never, right? :)

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  4. I tried GLÜHWEIN last Christmas and I loved it. You posted the recipe, YAY !! I am going to try to make it during year end holiday (as soon as I find out what's cardamom pods).

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    1. Awesome! Let me know what you think when you try this recipe! :) And you should be able to find cardamom pods in the spice section of places like Whole Foods or Fresh Market. Any specialty foods store should carry them. If not, ground cardamom will work fine. A little dab will do ya!

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  5. I'm so excited right now. I have dreamt of attempting to make this but dared not, for I feared my massive kitchen ineptitude. I feel brave. I will conquer.

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  6. Is your recipe "spicy"? I fell in love during my first ski trip in Colorado where it was called Hot Spiced Wine. I haven't found one that grabbed my heart like that batch did!! Even the German markets didn't match up :( Anyway, what is the "spicy" spice? Cuz I want more of that! :) Thanks for posting... I will most def try yours very soon!!

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  7. Yum! We tried this a week ago. We forgot to add the sugar! Haha it was not a great, but we quickly remembered what was missing. I love your version with the added juice. It is like a warm holiday sangria! :)

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    1. Oh no! Yes, sugar is a necessity for glühwein! And it's totally like a warm holiday sangria...with a little spice! :)

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  8. I just tried some at my work Christmas party last night. Fantabulous!

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  9. that looks delicious! i've gotten in the bad habit lately instead of putting everything in, i just put mulling spice packets in the crackpot ; ) lazy and not quite as good but still better than regular wine!

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  10. Oh, oh yes! I'm making this asap. Sounds right up my alley. A big thank you for sharing.

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  11. I was hoping that after all this talk, you would be posting said recipe :-) can't wait to try it!

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  12. I went to the same crepe stand at least twice a week for vin chaud when I was in Paris. The same old man was working every time I went and he would always put a few splashes of Grand Marnier in my drink and hand it to me with a wink. We were basically best friends.

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  13. I've just left Germany and am already missing gluwhein. Thank you thank you thank you for this recipe!

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  14. Yay, I love this stuff... so excited to venture making my own!

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  15. I am sipping on a mug of this right now while it snows outside! Brings back wonderful memories of our ski vacation in Grindelwald Switzerland a few years ago......we loved wandering the streets at night, all lit up with Xmas lights and every street corner had a huge copper kettle of gluhwein simmering. So beautiful.....thanks Casey! Question though....the Swiss recipes all say to simmer the wine....never boil it. Is there a reason why you boil yours? Never been to Germany so maybe they make theirs slightly different?

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    1. Ahh Switzerland...so lovely! When you boil it for a brief minute, it starts to get a touch of that syrupy thickness. I think it adds a little depth of flavor, but if you're afraid of burning off too much of the alcohol, then just simmer it for a bit. :)

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  16. I never really drank mulled wine until recently. But unfortunately you can't find it easily in Cyprus like I did in London. So i decided to make my own here. I didn't make it with juice so I will be trying your recipe

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    1. Yeah I imagine it might be hard to find there. Making your own is always fun anyway. :)

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  17. Can u make ahead of time and bottle as gifts for holidays? I want to give with gift tag for instructions to heat and some smoked cheese as well. Would you bottle and keep them refrigerated or no? Thanks in advance. Lily

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    1. Hmm I'm not sure, actually! My first thought is no…because sometimes wine can go bad if it's not sealed like a winery or manufacturer would seal their bottles. But if you know how to seal them properly, then go for it! I probably wouldn't refrigerate it either. Good luck! Would make a really special gift :)

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  18. Strange. Every other recipe I have seen clearly states NOT to boil the wine but you say we should bring it to a boil first

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