Glühwein About It

  • Servings: 4-8 (depending how much you drink)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

There are a few ways to ensure you stay merry and bright this holiday season but none that make you feel as warm and toasty as some German-style gluhwein. It’s sweet and fruity with many complex warming spices that will help answer those annoying, “What are you doing these days?” questions from those overly concerned relatives. Pro tip: Get them started on the wine before you and they’ll probably just talk about themselves… which may just make you want to drink more.


  • Start this recipe at least one day before you’re planning to drink.
  • Warm it over the lowest heat possible to keep from burning off the alcohol.
  • Glühwein is pronounced Glue-vine.
  • Peel your oranges. Seriously. Orange peels are so bitter and it’ll ruin your life.
  • This will keep in the fridge for about 5 days but I’m not 100% sure because it’s never lasted that long in my house. Let me know if you make it to the 5 day mark.


The Base

  • 2 bottles of dry red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 lemon, cut into chunks
  • 1 lime, cut into chunks
  • 4 large oranges, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 honey crisp apple, large dice
  • 12-15 purple grapes, halved

Gettin’ Spicy 

  • 3 star anise
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 30 whole cloves
  • 2 shots of Amaretto
  • 1 fresh orange, peeled and sliced
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar (more can be added to taste)


  • Large Pot
  • Chef Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups
  • Plastic Wrap or Pot Lid
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Mesh Strainer


  • Pour both bottles of wine into your large pot, add the base fruit, cover and chill over night.
  • Use the slotted spoon to remove a spoonful or two of the fruit to free up a bit of space in the pot.
  • Add in the spices, the fresh orange slices, amaretto, but not the light brown sugar. Heat over very very very VERY low heat. It should basically be like someone is just breathing on it to heat it up. Once it reaches about room temperature, you can turn the burner off for an hour or so.
  • When it gets closer to the socially acceptable time to drink (errrrhh, noon?) start heating it again and add the sugar once it is warm. Stir until it is dissolved. Taste and adjust sweetness as you see necessary.
  • Strain the wine into your coffee mugs. YES YOU GET TO DRINK THIS OUT OF COFFEE MUGS!! (Hair of the dog anyone? Just kidding. Get a mimosa for that.)

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