How To Make The Best German Mulled Wine: Glühwein

As I said in my previous article, one of the best things about Christmas in Berlin is the Glühwein.

UNSPLASH Hannah Pemberton

Nothing makes me happier than a warm beverage on a cold day and few things transport me back to Berlin quicker than a mug of Glühwein. Even though I can’t take off for a weekend trip to Germany, I can easily brew up a pot of Glühwein and have a small part of these winter festivities at home.

Glühwein, also known as spiced mulled wine, is the official German Holiday market drink. It is traditionally made with red wine and various spices but there are many variations including options for white wine drinkers and non-alcoholic consumers. I’ve included the basic method for making traditional Glühwein but there isn’t one definitive recipe so feel free to experiment and add new things!


1 bottle of red wine (it can be fairly cheap wine since you’ll be adding flavors)

1 lemon sliced

3 oranges sliced

6 sticks of cinnamon

3 tablespoons of sugar

Optional spices: 8-10 cloves, 3-5 anis (whole), cardamom (whole), orange zest, nutmeg (whole)


Pour wine into the pot over low heat.

Add cinnamon and sugar (and any optional spices)

Heat for 10 minutes

Add sliced oranges and lemon

Taste test – add more spices or sugar if you want.

Keep everything over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, make sure the mixture never starts to boil.

Strain spices and lemon bits before serving.


If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you might try your Glühwein “mit Schuss”, meaning with a shot of rum or another hard liquor.

Lizzy Monroe

Originally from Eugene, OR, Lizzy graduated from Stanford University. She's a coffee & street market enthusiast, her travel style involves planning ahead but never hesitating to improvise. Her favorite country is South Africa, she never travels without her Swiss Army Knife - mostly because of the hidden pen, tweezers and corkscrew.

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