Glühwein

If ever you find yourself in Germany at Christmas time, do not miss the opportunity to stroll through a Weihnachtsmarkt, or traditional outdoor Christmas market, while sipping on a mug of Glühwein. Dating back hundreds of years, Glühwein (pronounced “GLUE-vine” and translated literally as “glow wine”) is a hot, spiced mulled wine and a German Christmas staple. Its name comes from the days when Glühwein was once mulled with hot, glowing sticks of iron. Today, you can easily make a batch of delicious Glühwein at home.

What you’ll need:

2/3 cup of sugar (add a little more to taste if you desire)
2/3 cup of water (if you add more sugar, add more water so that you have equal parts sugar and water; you may also use orange juice in place of water if you wish)
12 whole cloves
1 stick of cinnamon (2 if you like a lot of cinnamon)
1 orange
1 bottle of red wine (a dry wine is best, such as a merlot or pinot noir)

1. In a medium-sized pot (large enough to hold the water and the entire bottle of wine), combine the sugar, water, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.

Syrup

Since it’s only M. and me tonight, I am making half of the recipe. Not that we can’t put away a full batch of Glühwein!

2. Cut the orange in half. Squeeze the juice of the orange into the pot.

Orange

If you prefer a sweeter, more citrusy flavor, you can use orange juice instead of water, which will complement the fresh orange juice that you squeeze in.

3. Stick the cloves into the skin of the orange halves, and add the orange halves to the pot.

Simmer

Simmering the liquid for a half hour will result in a thick, sweet syrup.

4. Cover and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, which will create a nice, thick syrup.

5. Remove the orange halves from the pot. Add the bottle of wine to the syrup and allow to heat but do not bring to a boil. Stir slowly to mix the syrup with the wine. Remove from heat.

Add the wine

A dry wine will mix well with the sweet syrup. A sweet wine will likely be too overpowering.

6. Serve your Glühwein in a mug with a fresh cinnamon stick and orange slice, if you so desire.

Gluhwein

Glühwein and gingerbread go oh-so-well together!

Enjoy! Please let me know how you like your homemade Glühwein!

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