There are about as many recipes for Glühwein (hot spiced wine, literally meaning "glow wine") as there are families in Germany. Everyone has there own variation that they prefer, but all start with a dry red wine. You do not need to spend a lot of money on the wine here. Anything from Chianti to Cabernet Sauvignon will work. The other items for a basic recipe include water, an orange, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves.
The Basic Recipe
- In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.
- Cut the orange(s) in half and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel and place peel into the simmering water. Continue simmering for 30 minutes until thick and syrupy.
- Pour in the red wine and heat until steaming but not simmering. Do not boil.
- Remove the clove-studded orange halves. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water.
The Fancy Recipe
- In a saucepan, combine the water, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice and star anise over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a mild simmer.
- Juice the orange halves into the simmering liquid.
- Stud the remaining rinds with the cloves and gently place into the pot.
- Add juniper berries.
- Juice the lemon into the simmering liquid and place the halves into the pot.
- Reduce the mixture to half of its original volume.
- Add the Cabernet Sauvignon and heat until just below simmering. Do not bring to a boil.
- Ladle into mugs and garnish with orange twist and a cinnamon stick.
There's always the optional Schuss, or shot of hard liquor (rum, brandy, amaretto, or some other favorite liquor) that you can add to keep you warmer! But beware, both the warm Glühwein and any additional shots pack a powerful punch. Be careful if you need to drive home.