This easy and warming German Mulled Wine (Gluhwein) is a perfect drink to serve during festive season. It smells like Christmas and serves a crowd!
Do you already know what drinks to serve on your Christmas dinner? Here is a creative option for you: German mulled wine (Gluhwein).
Glühwein (pronounced glue-wine) is sold on every Christmas market in Germany and all over Europe. Its spicy and sweet smell is associated with Christmas.
What are the origins of mulled wine?
The origins of mulled wine go back to Romans, who brought wine from the South of Europe to the North as they were conquering it. During winter, they heated it up and added some spices.
It’s no wonder that mulled wine stayed in Europe for centuries because of how delicious and warming it is.
What’s the difference between mulled wine and Gluhwein?
Mulled wine is hot spiced wine. Gluhwein is a German term for exactly the same. However, they might not necessarily taste the same way because there are so many different recipes, spice mixes and wines to choose from.
How do you make the best mulled wine?
The best mulled wine is always the easiest classic. Choosing the right amount of spices (for YOUR taste!) and the right wine for mulled wine is the key. Spoiler alert: It does NOT have to be expensive wine. More on that below.
What are the ingredients for mulled wine?
Mulled wine is so easy to make and yet it’s so impressive and tastes so good!
To make mulled wine all you need is:
- dry red wine;
- spices (see below);
- sliced oranges (and/or apples);
- sugar (or other sweetener).
What spices are in Gluhwein?
Gluhwein contains all traditional Christmas spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and allspice.
The most important rule here is: Don’t add ground spices! Only use whole spices in your mulled wine as otherwise they’ll make your mulled wine grainy.
Oranges bring on a fruity hint of citrus to balance the flavor. You can also use dried orange or lemon peel instead.
You can easily adjust the spice mix to your taste by adding any combination of the following spices:
- vanilla (pod);
- juniper berries;
- chili pepper;
- bay leaves.
Each of these spices will bring on its unique aroma, so feel free to add your favorites!
What wine do you use for Gluhwein?
The general rule of thumb in choosing the right wine for your Gluhwein is to make sure that the alcohol content not higher than 12.5%.
As the heating process and the addition of spices transform the flavor of wine, it would be a better choice to opt for simple light wines with fewer tannins like Merlot, Pinot Noir or Grenache. Bolder wines like Syrah will work well too.
How do you make traditional mulled wine?
There is nothing easier than making mulled wine. Just combine all the ingredients (except sugar) in a big pot and heat it all up.
Once the Gluhwein is almost boiling, add sugar, stir well and turn off the heat and let sit for up to 30 minutes before straining. This will ensure that the spices infuse the mulled wine with flavor.
To make your home smell like Christmas, put your mulled wine on a really low heat and pour it into glasses as your guests arrive. Another option would be to make it in a slow cooker.
I guarantee, this festive and warming German mulled wine will hit the spot!
How do you make German mulled wine (Gluhwein)?
There are many varieties of German mulled wine: you can add brandy or rum, you can use white wine instead of red, make it out of cider instead of wine, add apples, lemon, raisins or ginger wine to enhance the flavor.
I’m sharing a classic Gluhwein recipe today that is super easy and foolproof.
When you make German mulled wine, the only thing to pay close attention to is to not let it boil. Otherwise, there are no precise rules. You can add any other spices you like, any kind of alcohol or fruits.
Bruise your cardamom pods with the back of your knife. Put all ingredients except of sugar (or honey) in a pot over medium low heat. Before it starts to boil, remove from heat and add sugar. Let sit for up to 30 minutes, strain and serve.
To garnish, put a few orange slices in a mug along with a cinnamon stick.
To keep mulled wine warm for a longer time put your mulled wine on a really low heat and pour it into glasses as your guests arrive.
How do you make non alcoholic Gluhwein?
Non-alcoholic version of Gluhwein is called Kinderpunsch in German. It is also delicious!
Kinderpunsch is a combination of fruit juices (think orange, apple, grape, cherry…), spices and sugar or honey. Traditionally, hibiscus tee is used to give it a tangy flavor and dark red color.
How to serve mulled wine?
Serve mulled wine in glass, porcelain or caramic mugs with handles as you want to protect your hands.
German Gluhwein can be enjoyed on its own but it is especially good with traditional German Christmas cookies – Lebkuchen.
Here is the recipe and the recipe video for mulled wine that you will make over and over again! If you can’t see the video, disable your AdBlock for this page by clicking on the AdBlock button and selecting Don’t run on this page. Hope you like it!
German Mulled Wine: Gluhwein
- 1.5 liters or 1.5 liquid qt dry red wine 2 bottles
- 2 oranges sliced
- 6 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp allspice (9 berries)
- 1 tsp cloves whole
- 4 stars anise
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons Demerara sugar or other sweetener of your choice
- sliced orange to garnish
- Bruise your cardamom pods with the back of your knife. Put all ingredients except of sugar in a pot over medium low heat. Before it starts to boil, remove from heat and add sugar. Let sit for up to 30 minutes, strain and serve. To garnish, put a few orange slices in a mug along with a cinnamon stick.
- To keep the mulled wine warm for a longer time put your mulled wine on a really low heat and pour it into glasses as your guests arrive. Enjoy!
What spices do you add in your mulled wine? Do you add nutmeg?