Beverages, Holiday favorites

Glühwein

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Warm up this holiday season with Glühwein, a festive spiced mulled wine. German Glühwein is a spiced mulled wine enjoyed during the holidays. Mulled wine is a tradition in many Northern countries where the days are short and the nights cold. There are many variations of this warm holiday drink.

Two glasses of Gluhwein with orange slices. Cinnamon and cloves in front of the glasses.
Spiced mulled wine

German Glühwein is traditionally sold at their famous Christmas markets. It is a wonderful festive drink to sip on as you stroll the market and enjoy time socializing with friends and family. This Glühwein recipe is fairly simple featuring the flavors of orange, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. It is slightly sweet and perfect when made with a classic dry red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti.

A decorative sign for Gluhwein at the Leavenworth Christmas Market.
Spiced mulled wine is served warm

This recipe for Glühwein is inspired by our recent trip to Leavenworth Washington. Leavenworth is known for it’s festive spirit and sparkling Christmas lighting festival which takes place during the month of December every year. Leavenworth is nestled in the beautiful Cascade mountain range and bears a striking resemblance to the mountainous region of Southern Germany. The quaint buildings along downtown main street are decorated and designed with a traditional Bavarian theme. Boutiques, wineries, cideries and restaurants dot the picturesque streets enticing tourists to wander and enjoy the holiday spirit.

Downtown Leavenworth, WA Christmas Lighting Festival lights.
Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival

We sampled a little Glühwein sold by a local winery as we strolled along soaking up each and every twinkling Christmas light display. It’s a family tradition we always enjoy this time of year. As luck would have it, you can enjoy the highly decorated Leavenworth Christmas lights every year from Thanksgiving weekend through Valentine’s day. So if you happen to miss it in December, you can always come back and enjoy the lights throughout the regular ski season.

Quaint downtown street all lit up in Christmas lights.
More of quaint downtown Leavenworth, WA

If you like your festive holiday drinks particularly strong, you can add an optional shot of liqueur to each mug serving. A shot of rum, amaretto or cognac are the traditional choices. This extra shot of liqueur is not required, but will definitely keep you warm and rosy.

Spiced mulled wine warming on the stove.
Easy to make spiced mulled wine

What you’ll need

  • 1/2 a medium to large Naval orange
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 15 – 20 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • (Optional liqueur) a shot of rum, amaretto or cognac

Instructions

  1. Create long orange zest strips by using a vegetable peeler. Try to avoid the white pith. Cut the orange in half and juice one side. Set aside.
  2. Use a large sauce pan. Add water and sugar and turn on the heat to medium-high. Once the sugar has dissolved add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange juice and orange zest. Simmer for a minute.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the bottle of wine. Allow the wine to warm and barely simmer for 20 minutes. You do not want the wine to boil. Turn off the heat and cover keeping it warm.
  4. Serve in mugs or festive sturdy glasses. Add orange peel or star anise etc. for garnish.
  5. Add a shot of liqueur if desired to each mug.
Overhead view of two glasses of spiced mulled wine.
Festive spiced mulled wine

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Glühwein. It’s definitely a holiday favorite of my family’s.

Happy cooking,

Michelle

Glühwein

Michelle
Warm up this holiday season with Glühwein, a festive spiced German mulled wine.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine German
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 medium to large Naval orange
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 *bottle dry red wine
  • 1 shot (Optional liqueur) rum, amaretto or cognac

Instructions
 

  • Create long orange zest strips by using a vegetable peeler. Try to avoid the white pith. Cut the orange in half and juice one side. Set aside.
  • Use a large sauce pan. Add water and sugar and turn on the heat to medium-high. Once the sugar has dissolved add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange juice and orange zest. Simmer for a minute.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the bottle of wine. Allow the wine to warm and barely simmer for 20 minutes. You do not want the wine to boil. Turn off the heat and cover keeping it warm.
  • Serve in mugs or festive sturdy glasses. Add orange peel or star anise etc. for garnish.
  • Add a shot of liqueur if desired to each mug.

Notes

  • *Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon
Recipe from https://www.northwestspoon.com
Keyword wine
 

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