Gluhwein recipe is a hot wine drink that is enjoyed in Germanic speaking countries, usually during winter months, and during Christmas. It's like Christmas in a cup! A Mulled wine is the popular English name for this drink in the UK, but it has many names across the world. There are also many variations of how to make this recipe.
One of my first jobs I ever had was working at the local ski hill, in a Swiss restaurant. After a long day of skiing in the freezing cold, people would come in to warm up with a glass of Gluhwein, and sit beside a roaring fire. You could smell the Gluhwein wafting throughout the air all day. It smelled amazing with the blend of spices. A perfect way to warm up from the inside out.
Mulled Wines Around the World
It's thought that mulled wine was made by the Romans, and spread throughout the Roman empire. Here are some common names from spiced wines from around the world.
- Glögg from Nordic countries
- Quentão from Brazil
- Vin Chaud from France
- Graze Wino from Poland
- Глинтвейн (Glintwein) from Russia
Best Wine for Gluhwein
Any red table wine will work for this Mulled Wine recipe like Merlot, Pinot Noir or your favorite lighter or medium bodies wine. Don't spent a lot of money on the wine, as the spices will overshadow any of the delicate notes in the wine. Use the best wine you can afford, but don't use the top shelf red wine!
Spices for Gluhwein
Great thing is that you don't need to have any fancy spices when making a Gluhwein recipe, you probably have these in your pantry.
- cinnamon sticks
- whole cloves
- star anise
- citrus zest (or citrus slices)
- nutmeg (but will need to strain through cheesecloth if adding this spice)
Mulling Wine Slowly
I worked at a restaurant would heat their Gluhwein in a restaurant style, Bunn glass coffee pot. You know, the ones that you see on TV used in a restaurant diners to keep coffee warm. Slow heat, without boiling is the key to this. Unfortunately, the lowest heat setting on our stoves is a simmer. It's important not to boil mulled wine, and to only simmer. When the mulled wine has simmered, you can transfer it to your coffee pot to keep warm, just like the restaurant did.
Sometimes people add a shot of a liquor when it's served, especially if it starts to reduce in volume. Add a cup of water to your Gluhwein if it's going to simmer for a while.
As well as simmering your Gluhwein in a pot on the stove, you can also use slow cooker to make mulled wine. Just add your wine, spices and citrus into the slow cooker, set to low and allow to steep for about 1½ hours before serving.
Glühwein Recipe Tips
- Don't allow the Gluhwein to boil, keep it low and slow
- To save time, strain using a metal mesh tea strainer when pouring the hot spiced wine into your glasses (like when making loose leaf tea)
- If using citrus zest and nutmeg, you will need to strain your Gluhwein through a cheesecloth before serving
- When adding alcohol, try Triple Sec, Cointreau, or even white Rum
- Add some fruit! Try sliced apples, or throw in a few frozen blackberries or frozen cherries
- If simmering for a few hours, add 2 cups of water to keep your wine volume
It's a perfect drink for the holidays or during the cold winter months. The delicious spiced aroma will fill the whole house. Try my Hot Blueberry Tea Cocktail for another winter warmer! Wherever you are on the globe, enjoy this Gluhwein recipe! Prost and Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Gluhwein Recipe - Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 1 small orange sliced
- juice of an orange
- 2 quills cinnamon
- 5-6 whole cloves
- 1 star anise optional
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup of water
- Pour the wine and all the ingredients into a pot, and allow to simmer over a very low heat for about 10 minutes. Don't allow it to boil.
- Strain the Glühwein before serving. Serve hot and enjoy in moderation.