This traditional german drink is magical… especially outdoors; the famous Glühwein (mulled wine). Spiced aroma and heart warming holiday drink perfect to forget the cold.
This warm and spiced wine is made to be taken outside, at the christmas market but it could also just be outside after a winter activity or to welcome guests over with this heart warming drink. My husband is German and his whole family enjoy every year going to the christmas market while sipping on that warm and spiced up wine. It makes you forget about the cold and dipping your nose into the cup (yes… a cup) makes you think of those perfect christmas memories. In Germany, they always use cups to serve the gluhwein, this way you can hold it better.
Taste, taste, taste
The secret to a good gluhwein finds itself into the spices. I suggest some mix here, with lots of cardamom but you could modify it slightly to your taste. Another important part would be the amount sugar used, I suggest a quantity again this is up to you really, so taste it as many times as possible to make it to your needs. It’s really hard to write down the exact amount of sugar because it depends of the wine you’ll choose and also how you prefer your gluhwein. Even in Germany, the gluhwein differ slightly from place to place, so be creative and make a personal mix of spices.
As we know, warming up wine can result into a disaster, spoiling it even. That’s why the main thing to remember here is to use a thermometer and bring the wine SLOWLY up to 70°C (160F) but never pass 80°C (175F). It’s not going to make bubbles at this temperature, simply vapor will rise. Slowly the spices and fruits will mix up into the wine. Also the sugar has a big part into the process; it’s going to help stabilize our wine and give the gluhwein its flavor. I’ve caramelised the sugar at first to make it syrupy and then added the rest of the ingredients rapidly once caramelized. But you could also make it without this first step. This caramelizing step will give this extra dimension to the gluhwein. I highly recommend it.
So let’s make this spicy christmas drink!
Gluhwein (german mulled wine)
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 100g of sugar
- 50ml of brandy
- 10 green cardamom (crush them before use)
- 1 orange cut into big pieces (organic)
- 1/4 lemon wedge (organic)
- 6 cloves
- 2 anise star
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Start by cooking the sugar only in a big pot, let it melt/caramelize at medium high heat, without moving it
- When melted, turning yellow-brown, add wine rapidly and the rest of the ingredients
- Let the wine slowly warm up to 70°C (160F) do not pass 80°C (175F) or it’s going to be ruined. (keep a close eye on that)
- When you reach 70°C (160F) let the flavors mix up for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.
Serve into a mug (the german way) and don’t forget to Enjoy!