Glühwein: A Recipe for Cozy Times

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Gluhwein for cozy timesIs it cold in your neck of the woods?  Temperatures are dropping pretty steadily over here. Our little Victorian row house is full of charm– and full of cracks, where the cold winds blow right in. We don’t want an astronomical heating bill, and we have already asked our landlord to do some weatherizations… And while we wait, we don extra socks, sweaters, jackets and wool blankets. And we make Glühwein.

Few things really warm you up from the inside, out like Glühwein– and luckily, it’s really simple to make. Every sip I take brings me back to the Christmas we spent in Germany, and the wonderfully cozy Christmas market in our little town. People out and about in the evening, crunching through thick blankets of snow, drinking Glühwein and eating Leibkuchen or Bratwurst.

Sigh… I am afraid Germany has ruined us for Christmas anywhere else in the world. And while we are here wishing we could visit a Christmas market, we enjoy sips of it in the form of Glühwein. And you can, too!
Glühwein 2

Glühwein 1


Glühwein Recipe

The perfect cozy drink for cold nights! It will warm you up from the inside-out, and make your home smell amazing.

  • Author: ariana
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: cocktails
  • Method: boiling
  • Cuisine: german


  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine— this is a great use of a cheaper wine, or one that you were disappointed with!
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey or sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 organic orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • Orange liqueur, Brandy or Rum— all optional


  1. Pour the water into a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Add the honey.
  2. Poke the cloves into the skin of the orange, slice into halves, and squeeze some of the juice into the water, and throw in the clove-studded peels. Add the cinnamon, and let this mixture simmer and reduce until it begins to thicken. Your house will smell amazing.
  3. Pour the wine in, and heat very gently, until it begins steaming. Don’t boil the wine! Remove the orange peels and cinnamon stick.
  4. Serve in mugs, adding a shot of the orange liqueur, brandy or rum, if you need a little extra heat. I always ordered mine “mit einem Schuss Brandy.”
  5. Enjoy the coziness that will inevitably creep all the way down to your toes.

Keywords: gluhwein, mulled wine, cocktails, party

To make this as a gift,  just make room in the bottle of wine to pour in a batch of the syrup, put the cork back on it, and then add a festive label with instructions to heat the wine. We haven’t managed to keep any bottles around for long, but I would imagine that it should keep for a few weeks.


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41 Responses to Glühwein: A Recipe for Cozy Times

  1. Chris December 4, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    Love your blog….I’ve always read books that took me to far away places… I have you to follow! Thank you for the great recipe and the wonderful journey!

    • ariana December 7, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by, Chis, and I’m so glad that you will be joining us on our adventures!

  2. Joanna December 4, 2013 at 6:22 am #

    I like glüwein or gløgg in Danish. Blackcurrant with the spices works well as a non-alchohilic version.

    Old Victorian properties are certainly difficult to heat, do you have draught excluders by the doors and curtains over the entrances? They make a big difference in cutting the draughts. Draught excluders at their simplest are just stuffed tights, at their more creative they are snakes or sausage dogs 🙂 I had a lovely curtain over our doorway in the UK with a tessellated top to give it interest.

    • ariana December 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      Hi Joanna,
      We do have some “draft dodgers” as I know them, and they help. It’s the windows and door frames that need the most help. I’m thankful that it’s not gotten much colder in the last couple of weeks– it has rarely dipped below freezing. Even so, we’re cold!! Will need to follow up with the letting agency again on Monday. I love your idea of a heavy curtain at the doorway– will have to look into that!

  3. Julie December 5, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    This sounds so good. I might have to make it for a holiday cookie exchange party I’m hosting. Thanks for the recipe!

    • ariana December 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      I’m glad you’ll use this recipe, Julie– I hope it’s a big hit!

  4. Susan Gaines December 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Ariana, I so hope you’ve finally fallen in love (not just adjusted) to the fabulous red flowered wallpaper in your home. It is absolutely perfect with your decor. I am not a wallpaper person – but this one deserves to be loved. Beautiful decor.

    • ariana December 17, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Thank you, Susan. I do like the way the paper looks in this room, and I think that now that we have lots of other things going on in there, it isn’t too domineering, and adds to the scene instead of taking over! Especially nice at this time of year!

  5. Patricia December 11, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    I do a similar recipe every Christmas family gathering called Mulled Wine. Very delicious and always a hit! Great idea to rebottle and give away as a gift! Thanks!

  6. fairytalehausfrau December 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Mmmmm, Glühwein…I think I’ll try some rum with mine tonight. I’ve never done that!

    Love the cozy little scene inside your house!

    • ariana December 17, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      Thank you! It’s a new spot for our Christmas tree, and I think I like it there– plus a cozy chair by the tree is always nice…

  7. Stephanie December 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    This sounds delicious! Thanks.

    • ariana January 2, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      You’re welcome, Stephanie– hope you try it!

  8. Kristin December 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Great post. I think I might have to try this this weekend. Congrats on being chosen as a featured post on this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you’ll join us again and share more of your awesome posts.

    • ariana January 2, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      That’s wonderful news– thank you Kristin!

  9. NinnyNoodleNoo December 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    The cold in England is a little *different* – I think it’s due to the damp, it ‘gets into your bones’. Like Joanna says, heavy curtains and draft excluders can make a difference in old houses.

    I’m hoping to make some mulled wine with our homemade cherry brandy tomorrow – it’s an absolute must at this time of year (along with marzipan).

    It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to catch up with blogs, but just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and to say how much I enjoy your blog. x

    • ariana January 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Ooh, that sounds really good Nikki! Thank you so much for the Christmas and New Years wishes. Hope your times of celebration were really wonderful for your family!

  10. Dana October 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    Yummy! Thank you for the recipe! Can it be Christmas yet?

  11. susangaines1 November 6, 2015 at 5:17 am #

    I’ve missed seeing this beautiful wallpaper and decor.

  12. Dori dodge December 13, 2015 at 2:58 am #

    Having just been to the christkindlmarket in Chicago today… came home and made this recipe… this is exactly like their gluhwein. Thank you so much for posting 🙂

  13. Renee Kohley December 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    I think I will be making this for my husband and I to enjoy after the kids are in bed soon!

  14. divya sharma March 4, 2017 at 8:27 am #

    It is really delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this blog I loved it so much.


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