When our family was in Germany visiting their Christmas markets, it was COLD. The cold there is deep and bone chilling type of cold. Still, Christkindlesmarkts are a well loved centuries long tradition. What is their secret to having a terrific time year after year in their open air Christmas markets? Their winter warm wine recipe!

German Gluhwein mugs3
Collecting – Gluhwein Mugs From The German Christmas Markets from Art & Inspiration – Click to learn more …

In fact, each year German towns of all sizes create a signature mug to share at their Christmas markets. It seemed to be a ceramic creativity contest! Each town strives to capture both the spirit of the season and the character of their community in their mugs. Then, they make thousands of them to warm visitors on cold Christmas market days.

When you go to a booth to purchase some of their town’s specially spiced warm winter wine recipe, you also “buy” a mug – much like a bottle deposit. If you do not want to keep the mug at the end of your shopping trip, you can return it and get your deposit back. However once you have a mug, you can purchase refills more easily because those lines always move quickly!

Gluhwein means glow wine. It certainly does make you glow with warmth on the coldest of winter days!

Warm Winter Wine Recipe – Gluhwein

Good news! This winter wine recipe is very easy.

Sharing a Gluhwein recipe that was shared with our family while in Stuttgart, Germany.

Ingredients –

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 orange

10 whole cloves

1 bottle of red wine (750 ml)

Steps –

  1. In a sauce pan, combine water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
  2. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the heated mixture.
  3. Push the cloves into the orange peel and place in the simmering water for 30 minutes until it is thick and syrupy.
  4. Pour wine into a large pot and heat not quite to a simmer. (You don’t want it to boil because that will boil off the alcohol content.)
  5. Add spiced syrup to heated wine after removing the orange peel and cloves. Stir mixtures together.
  6. Serve in mugs and enjoy.

Tips –

Heating your mugs will keep your wine warm longer. How? Cut your oven on to about 200 degrees. Once it reaches temperature, cut it off. Place your ceramic mugs on a cookie sheet and place in the warm oven for 3-5 minutes. You want them warm but not too hot to hold.

Also, you can easily double or triple this recipe to make lots of Gluhwein!

After you have made this a time or two, start experimenting with other ingredients. Maybe add a sprinkle of nutmeg or add a bit of lemon juice.


Looking for more tips on serving wine over the holidays?

How to Serve Wine to Your Guests Well – Tips

Published by Ruth Logsdon

Born a Southern girl, I was transplanted a few times as a Navy wife! Now, our "retired" USN family, calls CA home. As UNC business school grad, I gained lots of useful insights by finding different opportunities and challenges along our military life's path. Love of traveling, making friends, experiencing other cultures and sharing the best of all that with everyone are now all part of me.

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