Gluhwein FINAL

Apologies to my faithful blog readers (hi Mum and Dad!) – as you may have noticed, I’ve been seriously MIA for the past several weeks. The hubs and I had a very sick puppy on our hands and I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything besides melt down over his condition every five minutes. Could you abandon this face to get creative in the kitchen? No? I didn’t think so.


The great news is that our wee boy has recovered 100% – and I can get back to cooking and baking just in time for the holidays!

One of our favorite things about living in Germany, particularly during Christmastime, is the delightfully ubiquitous presence of glühwein at virtually every party, festival, and weihnachtsmarkt around the country. For those outside of the German-speaking world, glühwein is a hot beverage of [typically] red wine mulled with sugar, citrus fruit, and a variety of spices, including cinnamon, cloves, anise and vanilla. There are few things more perfect on a cold winter’s night than a mug of steaming hot glühwein, followed by mug after mug of more glühwein.

I’ve been honing this recipe for years, and my husband (a true glühwein connoisseur) says it’s the best he’s ever had. Judge for yourself – enjoy responsibly!

Note: Vary the sugar content of this recipe per your individual taste, but do not exceed 3/4 cup. Glühwein is often made with port or claret, but substitute any robust red wine you prefer.



Yields | 6 servings

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 fresh orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 (750ml) bottle red wine


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.
  2. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange and place in the simmering water. Continue simmering for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
  3. Strain sugar-water mixture through a fine sieve to remove pulp and solids. Return strained liquid to the saucepan.
  4. Add the wine to the saucepan and heat until hot, but not simmering. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will shatter).