Glühwein -the drink of the season

Nicole Karsch-Meibom
Contributing writer

In a few plain words, Glühwein is a mulled wine combined with spices and typically served warm. And those who have tried it know how to enjoy it: outside with friends on a wintry evening, when the air is crisp, daylight has gone early and a scent of cinnamon and cloves fills the air. When the drink’s sweet heat saturates your body, you know that Christmas is right around the corner. Once the winter season has arrived, many people flock to the nearest Christmas market to enjoy a glass of Glühwein. But if you prefer to drink this treat at home, check out these recipes.

The simple and original version is quick and easy: Mix ¾ liter red wine and ¼ liter water, three cloves, two cinnamon sticks, and two pieces of star anise in a pot and heat it up slowly without letting it boil. Cut one lemon and ½ orange into slices and add them to the mix. Leave the heat on for one hour, then remove the fruits and spices and season it with sugar to taste.

This recipe can be adjusted to personal taste. Some people add one liter of water and one liter of red wine with ¼ liter brandy, two angostura bitters and one spoonful of cardamon, instead of star anise and lemon. You can also purchase the pre-mixed Glühwein and add a bit of rum and Amaretto, seven cloves, two sticks of cinnamon and slices of orange. Another option is to combine one liter of dry white wine with the contents of a vanilla stick, 50 grams of dried cranberries or sour cherries and four spoonfuls of maple sirup. For “Kinder Glühwein,” or children’s Glühwein, there are also many versions: Mix 1.5 liter fruit tea (e.g. cherry tea) with ¾ liter grape juice, then add two cloves, a bit of cinnamon, two spoonfuls of lemon juice and sugar. If cooking isn’t your cup of Glühwein, there is always help around the corner. Most supermarkets will offer bottles of Glühwein with or without alcohol (often called “Kinderpunsch”) or “Glühfix,” an infusion bag with a mixture of spices. Just heat the wine or juice, add the bag and leave it for a moment until the taste is right. Finally, don’t forget to drink it outside; there is nothing like a warm cup of Glühwein when it’s freezing cold outside.