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TLDR:

Glühwein (pronounced glue – vine), mulled wine, mulled spiced wine, or Glogg are all variations on the same theme – heated wine seasoned with sweet and aromatic spices. These spices include, to name a few, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, orange, and allspice.

There are many recipes for Glühwein, but a traditional recipe calls for heating wine with sugar and spices.  Wine is simmered with cinnamon sticks, cloves, citrus peel, cardamom pods and sugar. The addition of these warming spices makes mulled spiced wine the perfect drink for chilly winter evenings.

What is Glühwein?

The word Glühwein is a combination of glühen, which means “to glow,” and wein, which means “wine.” And that’s exactly what this drink does to you after a few cups. It glows in your cheeks and warms you from the inside out.

Glühwein, mulled wine, mulled spiced wine, or Glogg are all variations on the same theme – heated wine seasoned with sweet and aromatic spices. There are many recipes, but a traditional Glühwein recipe calls for heating wine with sugar and spices. Wine is simmered with cinnamon sticks, cloves, citrus peel, cardamom pods and sugar. The addition of these warming spices makes this the perfect drink for chilly winter evenings.

While mulled wine is typically made with red wine, white wine or rosé can also be used. For a non-alcoholic Glühwein, try using apple cider or apple juice as your base. Some recipes also call for adding brandy or rum to the heated wine. 

My personal favorite is a shot of butterscotch schnapps. The flavor complements sweet red wine and doesn’t get me hammered and laying on the floor drunk listening to Frank Sinatra in an hour. I buy an extra hour of sobriety.

Whether you’re making Glühwein from scratch using one of the recipes provided here or using a mix, the key to great Glühwein is letting the wine simmer long enough to let the flavors meld.  But don’t let the wine boil, or it will change the flavor and alcohol content.

Good spiced wine includes the right mix of ingredients. The best recipes live in the heads of those stirring steaming wine in blackened pots at Christmas Markets throughout Europe. That’s why I went to those markets and did the thankless research of stumbling my way through wooden stalls and drinking at Apres Ski parties to bring you the recipes you can’t find anywhere else. 

Here are some complete recipes for traditional Bavarian Glühwein, Wassail, and mulled spiced wine.

The infusion of sweet and aromatic ingredients like oranges, cinnamon, alcoves overpower the wine flavor. Go with a sweet juicy wine, a light or medium bodied wine. Not something dry and full bodied.

This is less about terroir and more about experiencing a comforting, warm glass of spiced wine that hugs your tongue and plants little kisses down your throat and into your belly on a cold night. It’s the glow you’re after, the warmth in your soul that bakes out a core memory of time with family, loved ones, or friends.

We’ve got the luxury of progress to adapt the meaning of Glühwein. But, I believe the origin story of Glühwein saw a different use all together, one of survival not love. 

FAQs

Is Glühwein the same as mulled wine?

Yes, Glühwein means “Glow Wine” in German. Call it Glühwein, mulled wine, or Glogg. You’re speaking the same language. 

Can you get drunk on Glühwein?

Oh yes. It might taste like heated fruit punch but it’s made with wine, which means it has alcohol. The heating occurs below the boiling point so that none of that precious alcohol is evaporated. Oh course, non alcoholic versions to exist too. That’s called Kinder punch in Germany, or kid punch. 

What is Glühwein in English?

The word Glühwein is a combination of glühen, which means “to glow,” and wein, which means “wine.” And that’s exactly what Glühwein does to you after a few cups. It glows in your cheeks and warms you from the inside out.

Is Glühwein from Germany?

Yes, it is from Germany. Glogg is from Scandinavia. Mulled Wine, that a loose English translation. All the same, with slight variations. 

How to Make Glühwein

Mulled spiced wine is not a complicated drink to make. But, traditional Glühwein is challenging to perfect. Today you don’t have to go to Germany to enjoy the glow from a cup of spiced wine. You can make your own using the curated Boozn’ Sam’s Glow cocktail kit, or track down the supplies on your own. 

The special Sam’s seasoning in our glow kit isn’t for sale anywhere else and took years of diligent research amongst wooden stands and blackened kettles through places like Austria, Germany, Finland and Sweden.