Glühwein — The drink of the season

Friends enjoying Glühwein, Photo by Yummy pic/

In a few plain words, glühwein is a mulled wine — a wine combined with spices and typically served warm. Those who have tried it know how to enjoy it: outside with friends on a wintry evening when the air is crisp and daylight has gone early.

When the drink’s sweet smell fills the air, you know that Christmas is right around the corner. Whatever the national name — Nordig Glögg, British mulled wine or Romanian Vin Fiert — glühwein has a long tradition. One of the oldest cookery books, “De Re Coquinaria,” of Ancient Rome, shows how to prepare “Conditum Paradoxum,” a spiced wine served hot.

There are many versions of glühwein, even some without alcohol, so everybody can enjoy this seasonal drink. Once the winter season has arrived, many people flock to the nearest Christmas market to enjoy a glass of glühwein.

Homemade Glühwein, Photo by Lisovskaya Natalia/

To enjoy glühwein at home, try this:

Mix 3/4 liters of red wine with 1/4 liters of water, three cloves, two cinnamon sticks, and two pieces of star anise. Heat it up slowly without boiling. Cut one lemon and half an orange into slices and add them. Leave the heat on for one hour, then add sugar to taste. This recipe can be adjusted to personal taste.

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.