Glühwein is a spiced hot mulled wine, commonly prepared during winters in my country, Austria and as well as in Germany.
The alcoholic beverage is a must in Christmas markets as well as in après ski parties as it warms your cold body from within!
The Austrian and German mulled wine resembles the Scandinavian Glogg, which is stronger in taste and alcohol.
What is Glühwein?
You might have come across a hot spiced Glühwein beverage before, especially if you have visited central Europe in the cold Christmas time.
Glühwein is a warmed up hot red wine, aka a mulled wine, infused by a special mixture of whole spices, which also includes orange as the main ingredient. Basically, Glühwein is a mulled wine, so it is an alcoholic beverage served hot!
The purpose of a Gluehwein is to warm up the body on cold days in winter.
We write Glühwein in the German-speaking countries, which can be also written as Gluehwein.
In some English speaking countries, it is often while also just spelled as Gluhwein (which is a bit wrong to a German-speaking ear and eye)
Is Glühwein the same as mulled wine?
Glühwein is somewhat a variety of mulled wine, so to say a wine that you mull slowly over the heat and along with different spices and orange flavors.
Mulled wine is prepared the same way, which is common in Britain for example, just that the ingredients are different.
After all, mulled wine must have been common in Europe since Bacchus, the Greek wine god, introduced wine to us poor mortals. After all Mount Olympus gets cold too in winter. 😀
Glühwein can be directly translated into English as a glow wine, so to say that when you drink this mulled wine you are glowing from within. Have a sip and check out your cheeks and you will know what I mean!
So yes, Glühwein is a variety of mulled wine, as are other mulled wines across Europe such as the Nordic Glögg and the Russian Glintwein.
The advent period (4 Sundays before Christmas) is the time of the year when you indulge the magic of Christmas to its fullest.
For that reason you will see typical Christmas markets, better known as Christkindlmarkt, selling the so-called Glühwein to the visitors in Austria, Germany as well as the rest of central Europe.
It’s an incredible experience to spend time with your family and friends in such a Christmas market, with the snow crystals falling from heaven, the voice of the carols enchanting your senses, the beautiful colored warm lights, the aroma of sweets and baked goods and you with a cup of hot spiced mulled wine warming your heart from within.
Another occasion, where it is common to drink the Glühwein, is the 5th of December. The 6th of December is commonly known as St.Nikolas day and that’s the day when the Saint comes to bring Chocolates, Sweets, and Oranges to well-behaved Children.
But before St.Nikolas visits with his angles, the demons come back to life to take with them the naughty kids and that’s what the 5th is all about.
Those demons from old times are young boys and the man from the Village in the mountains, wearing thick stinking mutton furs, huge hand-carved demon face masks, and massive bells.
You get the idea why at that point you would need an alcoholic infused mulled wine!
Then, of course, you can prepare mulled wine whenever you feel like drinking some!
There are countless occasions where a mulled wine, Gluhwein, might just be the hit. I personally just make it whenever I feel like indulging in comforting flavors. It’s kind of like an Indian Chai just with wine instead of milk!
How to make Glühwein from scratch?
So, while some believe that preparing Gluhwein from scratch is difficult, it actually doesn’t involve much work from your side if you know what ingredients to add.
Recently, a lot of shops have been selling ready-made Gluehwein and mulled wine packages all over the world, so people tend to think it’s an elaborate thing to make Gluehwein at home.
Folks you will rejoice because there is seriously no more extra work in preparing Glühwein from scratch. You just need to throw in all the wonderful spices and orange slices and, there you have your own homemade flavorful Gluehwein!
And the upside is that you can always adjust the flavors to your ultimate liking. Make Gluhwein a couple of times and experiment with the spices! You will see its fun and so rewarding!
So, to make the Austrian mulled wine from scratch you will need the following ingredients for my recipe:
- Star Anis
- Vanilla Bean
- full Cloves
Which wine to use for Glühwein and in general for mulled wine?
Pick as a base a fruity and flavorful stronger wine. Don’t go for a sweet soft wine as it becomes difficult to adjust the sugar quantity. You want a wine with character!
That means from the better known, global wine variations, you can pick something like a Merlot or Pinot Noir.
Other common wines that you can use to make Glühwein are Lemberger and Zweigelt.
How do you warm up mulled wine?
Just pour the spiced wine into a saucepan or small pot and keep on medium heat for a few minutes until it gets hot.
The mulled wine should never boil because the flavors get way too intense and change it a bit bitter.
Don’t reheat the mulled wine in the microwave, the effect will be the same as boiling the Gluehwein, the flavors will change and give the mulled wine a burned taste.
More goodies for this time of the year! 🍪
Dear Reader, when are you intending to make this Glühwein?