How to Make Traditional German Glühwein

german gluhwein in a cup
5 min
20 min
2 litres

Glühwein is a spiced red wine that’s traditionally served at Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. Translated roughly as “glowing wine” which refers to the temperature the wine is heated to, this holiday drink is meant to warm you up as you make your way around the market stalls, chatting and shopping and will ensure you won’t get cold.

Mulled wine, as we call it in English, is actually really simple to make and even better, it’s easy to make large batches which makes it perfect for entertaining over the holidays.

Making mulled wine is simple but it does involve a little bit more than just heating the wine – it’s a delicate balance of spices (cinnamon, star anise, cloves), citrus fruits, alcohol and sugar. Play around with the ratios to see what you like best. Mull your wine early to fill your house with the wonderful smells of the season to greet your guests as they arrive. Keep the pot on very low heat through the party and keep an eye on it – you’ll surely need to make more at some point!



cup granulated sugar
cinnamon stick
clementines or small oranges
Peel and juice of 1 lemon
Peel and juice of 2 clementines or small oranges
2 750
mL bottles fruity red wine
cup port
cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
cup brandy
Clementine or orange slices, for garnish
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish


Step 1

Place the sugar and cinnamon stick in a large (2 litre) pot.

Step 2

Stick 4 cloves into each whole clementine and place them in the pot with the sugar.

Step 3

Add the lemon and clementine peel and juice (you should have around ¾ – 1 cup juice in total) to the pot.

Step 4

Pour in just enough wine to cover the clementines and heat over medium heat until it boils. Simmer for around 5 minutes.

Step 5

Add the rest of the wine, the port, the Grand Marnier (or Cointreau) and brandy and stir well. Heat for around 15 minutes on low-medium heat. Do not allow the wine to boil.

Step 6

Serve hot with a slice of orange or clementine and perhaps a dash of cinnamon or cinnamon stick as garnish.

german gluhwein in a glass

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