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+ servings
Sense & Edibility's German Glühwein

Glühwein: German Mulled Wine

Use a good quality red wine to make this wintery libation.
Course Libations
Cuisine German
Keyword mulled wine, red wine
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, peels of oranges reserved
  • 1 inch peeled ginger, cut into 1/4" thick coins
  • 3 3" cinnamon stick, plus more to garnish
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cardamom pod, cracked optional
  • 3 allspice berries optional
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup Apple-Pear Brandy (or plain brandy)
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon or syrah)
  • orange slices for garnish optional


  • In a small sauce pan, combine the water and the brown sugar. Add the reserved orange peel, ginger coins, cinnamon sticks, and the nutmeg to the simple syrup. 
  • Bring the mixture a gentle simmer, stirring often to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the orange peel and the ginger to flavor that simple-syrup.
  • Fill a tea strainer (or a cheesecloth pouch) with the cloves, star anise, cardamom, and allspice. Tie the tea strainer to the pot's handle with a piece of kitchen twine and let it hang into the liquid in the pot. This trick to flavor the simple syrup is easier than fishing out loose spices when the Glühwein is done.
  • Scrape out the vanilla bean's paste, then add the paste to the pot with the simple syrup, and stir to combine. Allow this syrup to infuse for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the apple-pear brandy and the orange juice to the pot, followed by the red wine.
  • Once you've added the wine to the pot, allow the Glühwein to warm on low for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
  • When you're ready to serve, remove the rinds, cinnamon sticks, and ginger coins with a slotted spoon; remove the tea strainer as well. Discard the aromatics. 
  • The Glühwein may be served straight from the pot, or transferred to a slow cooker. Serve the Glühwein in heat-safe mugs, garnished with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick. Enjoy responsibly.