Glühwein – German Spiced Wine Recipe

Christmas is upon us! For anyone closely linked to German culture, that means many things, but one of the top of that list is Glühwein. When we visit Germany around the holidays, everyone knows that Lisa MUST go to at least one Weihnachtsmarkt, and have at least one hot, beautiful, soulful cup of Glühwein. If I don’t get it, I get cranky – real cranky. Here in the states it is very hard to find premade. If you are lucky enough to have an Aldi’s that sells liquor near by, you can usually find it there. However, some of us are not that lucky. For us, there is this recipe. I hope it warms your holidays, the way it always warms mine. Enjoy!

Difficulty: Easy.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes.
Portions: 6.


  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • Optional – 1/2 cup rum


  1. In a medium size saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly, then reduce heat and continue to simmer.
  2. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the pot. Place cloves into the orange peel and drop into the mixture. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken like syrup.
  3. Pour in the wine and rum (if using) and stir, heating gradually until steaming. DO NOT BOIL. Remove oranges and serve in prewarmed mugs.
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15 Responses to “Glühwein – German Spiced Wine Recipe”

  1. Rebekah says:

    What type of red wines do you recommend?

  2. Lisa says:

    Rebekah, it is recommended to use a dry, robust, fruity red wine. It does not necessarily have to be expensive, but should be palatable on its own. One wine that would work is Gallo Merlot, or Cupcake Merlot might be a good choice as well. -Lisa

  3. Sheila says:

    I just made a trial run and all I can say is yummy! Delish!!! I decided not to add the rum it doesn’t need any, this is so good. I can’t wait to share this with my best friend Petra.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe~

  4. Sheila says:

    Can this be made a week ahead of time? If so, should I store it in the refrigerator ?

  5. Lisa says:

    Hi, Sheila! Yes, it can be made ahead of time. I bottle mine and do not refrigerate it. However, be aware that like any wine, it will degrade in quality if you leave it around for say, weeks (open, that is). If you use orange slices in it, I would wait until you heat it for serving. Always serve warm. Trust me. ;-) Enjoy! ~Lisa

  6. Lisa says:

    I’m glad you liked it! It is my favorite part of Winter! ~Lisa

  7. Rose says:

    I just returned from 2 weeks in Germany, Austria and Hungary and enjoyed this all over! I want to make some for a Christmas party that I am hosting. I was thinking of having it in a crockpot on low. Do you think that would be ok? I also will need to make it ahead of time and transport it in gallon water jugs.

  8. Lisa says:

    Hello, Rose! How nice you recently went there! We will be heading to Berlin, Germany next Wednesday, and can not wait to have my first cup there! I have noticed that many street vendors selling Glühwein at the Christkindlmarkts tend to use crockpots, so that should be fine. If you have one with a warm feature, even better. You do not want to burn it, so you should try to keep the temperature low, even if it means a half hour on, a half hour off (with lid on to retain heat of course!). Transporting in the jugs is a great idea! I’m sure the party goers will love it! Happy holidays!

  9. Sandi says:

    Just returned from our first trip to Europe, where we were mostly in Germany….Garmisch, Munich, Wiesbaden, Langenkreith etc…..went to the Christkindlmarkts in several places and imbibed lavishly and brought home all the mugs for proof!! Can’t wait to make my own…thanks!

  10. Beth says:

    We’re stationed here in Germany and another good option instead of the rum is to use Amaretto. I’ve had this version at the Weinachtsmarkt in Rudesheim am Rhein and it is sooooooo good.

  11. Kelly says:

    I am attempting to make this as we speak but want to know do I take the pulp out of the oranges before putting them in the pot?

  12. Lisa says:

    There are actually two methods. The original recipe I added here requires squeezing the juice in, no need to remove pulp. Another option, slice the oranges, remove seeds and place the slices inside the pot. Some people like to push cloves into the slices before adding into the wine. Also, you may want to add extra sugar to adjust the sweetness. After simmering with fruit for about 15 minutes, try it for taste. I should write a revamped recipe soon. Enjoy!

  13. Kelly says:

    Thanks!!! I had removed the pulp because it seemed like it was going to come out in the mixture (some did anyway) but it tasted incredible!!! I think maybe I will try the orange slice way because I have pulp and cloves now in my wine and the slice way seems less messy but will it tastes as good? Thoughts??? I love your site and will be using it much more now after this turned out so great!!

  14. Michael says:

    We tried the recipe today. It turned out great! The gluhwein was a nice reminder of Christmas in Augsburg.

  15. Alan says:

    Lisa, thanks for the recipe. We used to play at the Eierschale nahe der Gedächtniskirche am Kurfürstendamm and would take breaks and run across the street to the Christmas market and buy cups and take back. so fun in the snow. of course things got a little loose by the 3rd set LOL. Merry Christmas.

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