Warm Up with Spiced Mulled Wine Recipe

Winter can be a challenging time of year, but it’s also the perfect season for enjoying some warmth and comfort. What better way to warm up on a cold Winter’s night than with a steaming hot cup of mulled wine? A cup or two of this spiced wine is just what I need when I come in from the cold.

Mulled wine, which is also known as glühwein, is especially popular in Germany where it is often served at their traditional Christmas markets. It is easy to make and requires only a few simple ingredients, most of which you may already have on hand.

In this recipe article, I’ll be sharing with you my version of the German mulled wine recipe. Not only will I provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make it at home but I’ll also suggest some delicious food pairings that will complement this hot spiced wine perfectly.

So why not give yourself a break from the winter’s chill by brewing up some delicious Glühwein mulled wine? Trust me; it’s the perfect beverage to enjoy with friends and family during the holiday season!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mulled Wine (Glühwein)
Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

Are you looking for a spiced wine drink that’s perfect for the holiday season? Look no further than this delicious recipe for mulled wine, also known as Glühwein in Germany.

What’s not to love about a hot, spiced wine drink that’s perfect for warming you up on a chilly night? This recipe combines the rich and fruity flavors of dry red wine with the warmth of cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, along with the brightness of oranges and lemons.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the addition of a few special ingredients that take it to the next level. A splash of Amaretto or rum adds depth and complexity to the drink, while a dash of orange liqueur gives it a delightful citrusy finish. And let’s not forget about the brandy – just a quarter cup will give your mulled wine some extra oomph.

Not only is this recipe easy to make – just combine all the ingredients in a large pot and let it simmer – but it’s also endlessly customizable. You can add more or less sugar, adjust the amount of spices to your taste, or even try substituting different types of liquor for an extra twist.

So why will you love this recipe? Because it’s a delicious way to warm up on a cold winter night, it’s easy to make, and it can be tailored to suit your preferences. Plus, sharing a steaming mug of mulled wine with loved ones is sure to create lasting memories.

Ingredient List

 Winter is coming, and so is a warm cup of Mulled Wine!
Winter is coming, and so is a warm cup of Mulled Wine!

Here are the ingredients you need to make this delightful mulled wine recipe:

  • 1 bottle of dry red wine (750 ml)
  • 1 medium orange sliced, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 medium lemon sliced
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 cup brandy or rum
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water

While these ingredients make up the traditional German Glühwein recipe, there are plenty of variations that allow for personal tastes and add some unique twists. To switch things up, try adding a cardamom pod or an Amaretto liqueur. The choice is yours!

The Recipe How-To

 Time to spice things up with a cup of hot Glühwein!
Time to spice things up with a cup of hot Glühwein!

Now that we have gone through the list of ingredients let’s dive into the recipe for this traditional German mulled wine recipe, also known as Glühwein.

Step 1: Preparing the spices

Firstly, in a large pot, roast 5 cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 10 whole cardamom pods over medium heat until fragrant.

Step 2: Adding wine and other ingredients

Then, pour in a bottle of dry red wine and add 1 orange sliced, 1 lemon sliced, and 1 star anise. For added sweetness, pour in some sugar (½ cup granulated sugar) and brandy (¼ cup). You can also add a splash of amaretto and rum or orange liqueur to give it an extra kick.

Step 3: Slow cooking the wine

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. Be careful not to bring it to a boil again as this will cook off the alcohol. A slow cooker is also an excellent alternative if you want to keep your mulled wine warm throughout.

Step 4: Straining and Serving

Finally, strain out the spices, fruits, and any floating particles from the pot before serving. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, sliced oranges, or lemon slices.


  • Although this recipe requires a dry red wine to be used, you can try experimenting with other types of red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
  • If you’re not a fan of citrus fruits, use 1 cup of orange juice instead of using sliced oranges or lemons.
  • For a non-alcoholic version or kid-friendly option, swap out the wine for grape juice and omit the brandy.

Sit down by the fireplace and enjoy this sweet, hot spiced wine drink, perfect for any cold winter day!

Substitutions and Variations

 Nothing beats the cozy feeling of sipping on a good glass of Mulled Wine.
Nothing beats the cozy feeling of sipping on a good glass of Mulled Wine.

Mulled wine is an easy and delicious drink that you can customize to your liking. Here are some substitutions and variations you can make to add a personal touch to the traditional German Glühwein recipe:

1. Add Amaretto or Rum: For a boozy kick, add a quarter cup of Amaretto or Rum to the simmering wine.

2. Use orange liqueur: To elevate the orange flavor, substitute brandy with orange liqueur or Triple Sec.

3. Experiment with citrus fruits: Swap out the standard orange slices for other citrus fruits such as grapefruit or blood orange. You could even use lemon for a tangy twist.

4. Adjust sweetness levels: Vary the amount of sugar based on how sweet you like your wine. A quarter cup of granulated sugar is great for those who prefer a mild sweetness, while half a cup of sugar could satisfy those with stronger sweet tooth.

5. Go easy on cloves: Some people may find whole cloves overpowering, in which case you can reduce the amount to 1-2 cloves per batch.

6. Use Slow Cooker: This recipe is great for making in a slow cooker when hosting large gatherings during festive seasons.

7. Try different spices: In addition to cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, you could also experiment with cardamom pods, star anise, and dry roasted ginger for new flavors and aromas.

By tweaking these ingredients or adding your favorite spices, you can create your perfect combination of hot spiced wine drink that caters to your taste buds while still keeping the essence of traditional German Glühwein mulled wine alive!

Serving and Pairing

 Take a sip and indulge in the sweetness of this festive drink!
Take a sip and indulge in the sweetness of this festive drink!

A warm cup of Mulled Wine (Glühwein) is the perfect drink to cozy up with, especially in colder months. This hot spiced wine drink is traditionally served during Christmas markets in Germany and is now beloved worldwide. It’s a wine recipe that warms your soul, making it perfect for sipping by the fireplace or while cuddling up under a blanket.

When serving Glühwein, it is important to make sure the wine is heated but not boiled. The flavors of the ingredients are strong enough on their own and boiling can affect the flavor and consistency of the drink.

To serve, ladle the hot wine into a mug and place a cinnamon stick in it as a stirrer; this will also give an extra burst of flavor to your drink. You can also add a slice of orange, lemon or both to add some citrusy zing to your cup.

As for pairing, because of its sweetness and warming properties, Mulled Wine goes well with any spicy or savory dishes. Here are some pairing suggestions that we recommend:

– Spicy foods: Try pairing it with Indian or Thai food since they share similar spices like cinnamon and cardamom.

– Meat dishes: Breaded chicken, steak and sun-dried tomato pasta.

– Cheese: For those who love cheese platters, pair it with sharp cheddar or gouda cheese accompanied by crackers or bread.

– Desserts: Glühwein can be paired nicely with gingerbread cookies, apple pies or tart desserts since the sweetness complements well.

Overall, Mulled Wine (Glühwein) will definitely warm you up inside and out with its rich red wine simmered in sugar-orange syrup and combined with cinnamon cloves and whole star anise. Prepare this classic German Christmas market favorite at home and enjoy it with your loved ones alongside some delicious accompaniments.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This traditional German drink will transport you right into a Christmas market.
This traditional German drink will transport you right into a Christmas market.

Mulled wine is a perfect make-ahead recipe as it tastes even better the day after it’s made. You can simply store it in the fridge and reheat it anytime you want. This is great for times when you are hosting a party or just want to enjoy a cozy night in with your loved ones.

To store your mulled wine, pour it into an airtight container while it’s still warm and let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Mulled wine can be stored in the fridge for up to five days, and this will deepen its flavors even further.

When reheating the wine, do so over low heat until it’s warmed through, but avoid boiling the wine as this can affect its taste. It’s important not to keep the wine on the stove for too long, as prolonged heating can cause it to lose its alcohol content.

An alternative way of reheating your mulled wine is by using a slow cooker on low heat. This ensures that the wine stays warm but doesn’t boil, allowing you to serve up some hot spiced wine drink with ease.

So whether you make mulled wine ahead of time or you need to reheat leftover spiced wine, these tips will help you ensure that the drink is perfect every time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Mulled Wine: the perfect drink to accompany a night in by the fire.
Mulled Wine: the perfect drink to accompany a night in by the fire.

As a sommelier, I have had my fair share of mulled wine or Glühwein, and I believe that the perfect Glühwein should have balancing levels of sweetness, spiciness, acidity, and fruitiness. Here are some tips to keep in mind to achieve the best results for your Glühwein recipe.

1. Choose the Right Wine

Choosing the right wine is crucial for an excellent mulled wine. Always opt for a dry red wine that is rich in tannins and has no residual sugar. A light and sweet wine will only make your mulled wine too sweet and cloying.

2. Go slow on the Heat

Stick to low heat when simmering your mulled wine and avoid boiling it at all costs. Remember, heating a dry red wine too quickly can destroy its delicate flavors.

3. Don’t Overdo the Spices

Always use fresh spices and go easy on them because overdoing it can throw off the balance of flavors in your final product. Start with 2 cinnamon sticks, 5 cloves and 1 star anise, and add more depending on how intense you want the spiced flavor to be.

4. Add Citrus Fruits Last

When adding citrus fruits like oranges or lemons, add them towards the end of the cooking time as they can overshadow other flavors if cooked for too long.

5. Use High-Quality Ingredients

Incorporate high-quality ingredients like fresh oranges, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves into your Glühwein recipe to enhance the drink’s overall flavor profile.

6. Steep before Serving

Once you’ve finished cooking your Glühwein recipe, let it steep for at least fifteen minutes before serving to allow all of the flavors to meld together.

By sticking to these tips, you’re sure to produce a delicious hot-spiced-wine drink or Glühwein perfect for a cozy winter night or any festivities with loved ones.


Now, for some frequently asked questions about this amazing mulled wine recipe.

Is Glühwein the same as mulled wine?

One of my favorite winter beverages is Gluhwein, also known as Mulled Wine. This hot drink is made by simmering red wine with sugar, oranges, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. The delightful concoction is both sugary and aromatic, creating a warm and inviting sensation.

What wine is best for Glüwein?

To make a delicious glühwein, it is recommended to use a dry red wine variety, ranging from Chianti to Cabernet Sauvignon.

How is Glühwein or mulled wine typically served?

When it comes to mulled wine, it is common to serve it in either a ceramic or porcelain mug to shield your hands from the warmth of the spiced wine while allowing you to grip it comfortably. Glass mugs are also a great alternative for sipping mulled wine. However, specialized glasses are specifically designed for serving mulled wine.

What’s the difference between hot wine and mulled wine?

Various terms are used to refer to mulled wine, such as spiced wine, hot wine, glögg, glühwein, and vin chaud. Though the beverage may differ based on the location and the preferred alcohol content and spices used, they all share the same basic composition.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the tradition of sharing a hot spiced wine drink during the cold months is something that should be embraced. The mulled wine recipe, also known as Glühwein in Germany, is a perfect example of a comforting and flavorful beverage to warm you up on cold nights.

By following this recipe, you can make your own delicious Glühwein German mulled wine at home with easy-to-find ingredients like cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange slices, and dry red wine. You can even experiment by adding some Amaretto or rum to the mix for an extra kick.

Keep in mind that this recipe is not limited to just winter holidays or German Christmas markets but can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Whether it’s for a cozy night in watching movies or a fun gathering with friends, there’s no wrong occasion to enjoy this hot spiced wine.

In conclusion, I highly recommend trying out this traditional Glühwein mulled wine recipe for yourself. It’s sure to impress your guests and become a new favorite beverage for you to enjoy. Cheers!

Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

Mulled Wine (Glühwein) Recipe

Germans enjoy Glühwein or "Glow Wine" quite a bit around Christmas and New Year's Day. A favorite place to sip a warming glass is outside at the Christmas market. Unfortunately, the recipe did not say what size bottles of wine, so I've estimated that here. From "German Holiday Recipes from the German Embassy 2007" and the "additions" are my own from my experiences at the Christmas Markets in Berlin. Posted for ZWT6.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Beverage
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 24 drinks
Calories 105.1 kcal


  • 2 (1 liter) bottles red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 6 -8 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, sliced for garnish


  • add 1 ounce Amaretto or 1 ounce rum, to your drink for extra warmth


  • Mix water, lemon and spices and simmer for an hour. Strain.
  • Heat but do not boil the red wine.
  • Add wine to hot water mixture.
  • Ladle into cups and serve with half a slice of orange.
  • Add additions if desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 129gCalories: 105.1kcalCarbohydrates: 11.6gProtein: 0.2gSodium: 4mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 9.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, For Large Groups
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