Boozy Spiced German Gluhwein Recipe

Glühwein, otherwise known as mulled wine, is a sweetened, warmed wine that is flavored with citrus and a mix of different spices such cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla. For an added kick, sometimes a shot of rum is also added to the beverage, to really take things to the next level. Popular in Germany and beyond, this drink is often enjoyed during the Christmas season, though we think it's worthy enough to be enjoyed all year round.

We don't know quite who to thank for this clever, and delicious, invention, but we do know that the first mention of glühwein was made as early as 1420 on the tankard of a German nobleman (via Culture Trip). It's popularity is clearly long lasting, and today glühwein is enjoyed in many different forms around the world, with exact quantities of spices and flavorings often kept as closely guarded family secrets. We think that this drink is too good to miss out on, so recipe developer Jennine Rye, who grew up in the German speaking area of Switzerland, has divulged her secrets and created this version of glühwein for you to enjoy. Read on to find out just how easy it is to make this warming and delicious beverage.

Gather the ingredients for this boozy spiced glühwein recipe

To make this boozy spiced glühwein recipe, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You'll need a bottle of red wine, spiced rum, oranges, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and sugar. If you would prefer a less boozy version of this spiced glühwein recipe, it is possible to omit the rum.

When selecting the red wine, it's good to think about which types might work best for mulled wine. Rye has used a merlot, which tends to be well balanced and often contains notes of cherries, berries, and spices. It's also on the dryer side, which works well, considering you'll be adding sugar and spices to sweeten it up. Whichever wine you choose, just remember you don't need to spend too much; keep your best bottles to be enjoyed by themselves!

Add the ingredients to a saucepan

To begin, slice the oranges into thin rounds. Select a few choice slices and set them to one side, as these can be used for garnishes when serving up the glühwein in glasses. Then, using a medium-sized saucepan, pour in the bottle of wine and follow this up with the spiced rum, the orange slices, the cinnamon sticks, the cloves, the star anise, and the sugar.

Simmer the glühwein

Place the pan on the stovetop and slowly heat up the mixture, keeping the heat on the lower side. It's important that the mixture gets hot, but it must not boil if you want to keep the drink boozy. Let the glühwein to sit on the hob for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors of the citrus and the spices to infuse throughout the beverage.

Serve this boozy spiced glühwein

When it comes to serving the glühwein, use a ladle to scoop up some of the mixture and pour it into heatproof drinking glasses or mugs. Finish off with by garnishing the glühwein with a slice of orange, and a stick of cinnamon if you have one.

The saucepan can continue to sit on low heat, keeping the glühwein warm while it is served up and enjoyed. Any leftovers can be cooled and stored in the fridge for up to three days, and should be gently reheated before serving.

Boozy Spiced German Glühwein Recipe
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This glühwein recipe features a spiced rum kick, adding extra booze and extra warming flavor.
Prep Time
Cook Time
glühwein with oranges and spices
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine
  • ⅔ cup of spiced rum
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  1. Slice the oranges into rounds, and reserve a few choice slices for garnishes.
  2. Add the red wine, spiced rum, remaining orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and the granulated sugar to a medium-sized saucepan.
  3. Gently heat up the wine until it is just below simmering, and keep it there for about 20 minutes, so the wine warms up and the flavors infuse. Be careful not to boil the wine.
  4. Serve the glühwein in heatproof cups or mugs, and garnish with a fresh slice of orange.
Calories per Serving 331
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 19.8 g
Sodium 8.9 mg
Protein 1.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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