Festive Cocktails: Gluhwein

Throwing a holiday party and looking for a fun new cocktail recipe? Keep things festive with some spicy, warm gluhwein – a staple of Christmas markets and holiday tables. Known as glühweinglögg, or mulled wine, it all pretty much translates to “hot wine”. It’s incredibly easy to make – combine a few bottles of wine with spices such as cinnamon and cloves and a few other ingredients. Let it sit on the stove for a bit to get the most out of the flavor and ladle it into mugs to enjoy with friends. If you really want to up your gluhwein game, add in some spiced rum. As a bonus, your home will smell absolutely amazing while it cooks. This recipe was given to me by an old coworker’s boyfriend who was living in Germany at the time. In my book, that’s about as authentic as it gets. Impress your friends and family or enjoy by yourself, we don’t judge.


  • 3 bottles of red wine
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 2 large oranges
  • About 30 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of rum (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, both sugars, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the juice of the 2 oranges, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of wine and let sit for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. After you’ve juiced the oranges, scoop out the rest of the inside and stick whole cloves into the peel. (see third image below).
  4. Place orange peel/clove combos into the mixture. Lower heat and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the remaining wine. At this point, you can also add the rum.
  6. Cover the pot and let sit until hot (about temperature you would drink hot tea at).
  7. Ladle into mugs and enjoy!

Combine sugars, cinnamon, a sprinkle of nutmeg, and water in a saucepan on the stove.
Juice of two oranges.
Stick whole cloves into orange skins.
Add the orange skins to the sugary water.
Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Here’s where it starts smelling amazing!
Add in the rest of your wine, let it warm up, and enjoy!

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