German Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

The Perfect Mulled Wine Recipe – From a German!

Looking to celebrate the holiday season with a hot drink to sip on? Mulled wine might be for you.

Traditionally made with red wine, mulled wine is deliciously sweet, a little tart, and quite fragrant with just the right amount of spices like cinnamon. Over the last few years, mulled white wine has also become quite popular.

Mulled wine – also called Glühwein in German – is a staple of Christmas Markets across Germany, Europe, and beyond.

two mugs of german mulled wine with oranges and cinnamon around
Two mugs of German mulled wine – perfect for sharing with a friend!

With half of us being German – and having lived in Europe for years together – we have loads of experience with mulled wine.

We’ve been lucky enough to visit different German Christmas markets in numerous cities like Cologne, Aachen, Berlin, or Nuremberg. That said, mulled wine can also be found outside of Germany – we sipped it in Prague and Edinburgh, too.

These days (back in North America), we’ve gotten into making it ourselves for family and friends and it’s always a hit.

white mugs of german mulled wine on white counter top
The cinnamon sticks and wine-infused oranges add to the mulled wine’s flavor!

Our recipe is a basic mulled wine recipe. If you make it, you will have a wonderful Glühwein to sip on and serve.

However, you absolutely can add other ingredients – if you want them and/or if you can find them. We would have added extra spices like star anise but were unable to get a hold of it.

You might also add cardamom, and if you want to up the booze content, you can add extra alcohol like rum or brandy.

mug of red german mulled wine with cinnamon stick
Cinnamon and cloves are popular spices for German mulled wine – but you can include others!

Another thing to consider is the wine you choose. More and more we are seeing white wine mulled wine becoming popular – and we’ll write up our recipe for that soon.

When it comes to choosing a red wine for mulled wine, we’d suggest choosing a medium quality semi-dry to dry red wine because the flavor of the wine is what comes through in the drink regardless of how much sugar you add.

When we made the recipe to take photos we used a Californian wine called Smoking Loon and quite enjoyed the test.

However, we’ve also made it with other red wines before and liked it just as much. Have fun making some German mulled wine!

mug of red german mulled wine with cinnamon stick

German Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This traditional German Mulled Wine recipe is just like you'd find in Germany. Made with red wine, sugar, fragrant spices like cinnamon, and fresh fruit like oranges, this classic holiday drink is always a crowd pleaser and perfect to sip on to keep warm and festive!

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of dry red wine (750 ml)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 organic oranges
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
  • cardamom (optional)
  • star anise (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash the oranges and cut them into slices. You can save a few slices for decoration.
  2. Add the wine, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, cloves, sugar, rum (optional), star anise (optional), and cardamom (optional) to a pot. Put on the lid and heat the mixture on low heat for about one hour. It's important that the wine doesn't come to a boil as this will evaporate the alcohol. Check on the wine occasionally and give it a stir.
  3. After one hour, try the mulled wine and add more sugar to taste (optional).
  4. Pour the wine through a sifter before serving to capture the spices and orange slices.
  5. Serve with the orange slice (fresh slices or the slices from inside the brewing pot) and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use different wines to make mulled wine. We would recommend a medium-priced dry red wine for this recipe. Don't opt for the cheapest wine with lower quality - because you will taste the difference in quality. At the same time, it doesn't have to be over-the-top expensive red wine, either.
  • Since you won't peel the oranges before dropping them into the pot, it's important to buy organic oranges. This is because orange peels might have pesticides or other chemicals in them.
  • It's important that the wine does not come to a boil. This would evaporate off some of the alcohol and change the strength/flavor of the drink.
  • You can definitely add different spices to mulled wine (as we noted above). The ones we mentioned are just the most traditional ones.
  • You can also add additional alcohol (like rum or brandy) to the mulled wine. This is something you often see at Christmas Markets as an add-on to the "normal" mulled wine!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 22gProtein: 1g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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