How to make delicious Gluhwein this Christmas

Glühwein is a spicy mulled wine sold in Germany and Austria around Christmas time. It is heated and immediately warms you up. I find the fruity flavour delightful. I usually bought Glühwein at the Christmas markets I went to in Germany. Now that I’m back home in South Africa I miss the spectacular German Christmas markets.  In order to include a bit of Germany in my Christmas traditions I’ve taken to making my own Glühwein. It makes for a different kind of Christmas drink if you happen to be living outside of Germany and Austria.  Dazzle your guests with thirst quenching glühwein this Christmas with this simple recipe.


Germany Gluwhein
A few of my classmates, my Prof, tutors and coordinator with our Gluwhein at Essen’s Christmas market.


3/4 cup orange juice (you can use water instead). Water will make the drink sweeter. The acidity in the orange juice will cut through the sweetness.

3/4 cup brown sugar or  white sugar if you don’t have brown

1 orange

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

2 cardamom pods

1 star anise

1 (750 ml) bottle red wine (it can be white but red is traditional). You should use merlot or any other full bodied red wine. Don’t make glüwhein with Rosè wine.



  1. Add the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a pot or saucepan.  Let it boil and simmer on a low heat. You don’t want the ingredients to become syrupy.
  2. Slice the orange in half and then squeeze out the juice into your pot or saucepan, don’t let seeds fall into the pot. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peels, and place the peels of the two halves of your orange  in the boiling water. Continue simmering for 30 minutes. The mixture should become a bit thick by now.
  3. Pour in the wine slowly, and heat until steaming but not simmering. You will burn out all the alcohol if you choose boil the mixture at a high heat. Remove the clove-studded orange halves make sure the cloves are all removed.
  4. Serve  in mugs whilst the wine is still warm.  You can also serve the glühwein in glasses which have been preheated with warm water. If you pour the wine in a normal glass without preheating it your glass will crack.


You can add slices of orange and a cinnamon stick to your mug or glass to make your drink look more festive.

You can add a splash of brandy to give your drink even more of a kick.


If you don’t like orange juice then use the juice of one lemon instead, boil the halves of lemon in your pot. And add water instead to your syrup mix instead of orange juice.


How to make delicious Gluhwein for Christmas (1)


If you happen to be like me who always celebrates a summer Christmas I recommend that you serve the glühwein at night time after the weather has cooled down somewhat. It is a winter drink which gets you feeling warmer.

Thank you for reading and hope that you are enjoying the festive season. Please provide me with any feedback. I love reading comments on my blog.

Happy holidays!

xxx Nikki xxx