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What is Gluhwein

What is Gluhwein

TLDR:

Gluhwein (pronounced glue — vine), mulled wine, mulled spiced wine, or Glogg are all variations on the same beverage — 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 the 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 Glühwein the perfect drink for chilly winter evenings.

While Glühwein 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 Glühwein. 

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 Glühwein mix, the key to great Glühwein is letting the Glühwein simmer long enough to let the flavors meld.  

Glühwein 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 of a cup of Gluhwein. You can make your own using the curated 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. 

Find recipes here:

Boozn’ Sam’s Glow

Traditional Glühwein

Wassail (UK)

Glogg (Swedish)

What is Gluhwein?

Gluhwein (pronounced glue — vine) is a spiced, hot wine that is perfect for warming up on a cold winter’s day. The wine is heated slow, typically on the stove, but also over an open fire if you want to hearken back to the original days of making Glühwein.

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. Another theory on the name, is that it originated from the fires that glowed in the dark, cold nights when Glühwein first appeared in kettles over open fires.

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 for Glühwein, but the 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 Glühwein the perfect drink for chilly winter evenings.

While Glühwein 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 Glühwein. 

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 within an hour of consumption.

Whether you’re making Glühwein from scratch using one of the recipes on Sam’s Booze or using a Glühwein mix like Sam’s Glow, the key to great Glühwein is letting the Glühwein simmer long enough to let the flavors meld.  Just ensure that when heating Glühwein you don’t let the wine boil, or it will change the flavor and alcohol content.

Good Gluhwein includes the right mix of ingredients. The best Glühwein 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 and Wassail.

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. 

History of Glühwein

Gluhwein originated in Germany as a story of survival and reprisal from a hard life, a life we can’t imagine. In truth, the hot mulled spiced beverage existed centuries before making its way to Germany. But, since traditional Glühwein is synonymous with Germany that’s the history we’ll explore.

Gluhwein first noted appearance in Germany wasn’t until the early 1400s, long after the pillage and death of Julius Caesar. Still, I have to imagine it existed before documentation. Either way, during the 14th and 15th century, the demographic profile still varied from many other European countries. 

Created on nights when the heat of day escaped into the open, cloudless sky and cold set in with a harshness that numbed fingers, toes, and faces, I imagine they heated wine over fires and seasoned it for taste.

Gluhwein first noted appearance wasn’t until the early 1400s. But, I have to imagine it existed before documentation, and the first recorded mention of Glühwein anywhere in the world was from centuries before that point.

During the 14th and 15th center in Germany, it’s estimated a little over 10% of the population lived in cities or towns at that time, with the majority still living and working farms. Germany’s economy was agricultural in nature, as opposed to trade and industry. The Germanic people was spread out across large swaths of farmland throughout the country. 

Their foray into heating and drinking hot, spiced wine more than likely came about out of necessity to stay warm against the bitter cold winters versus as a social exercise. The cold and poverty of many who farmed and now found themselves restricted in movement and bound as serfs by the nobles of the time to land they originally owned would drive anyone to drink. 

Today Gluhwein, or mulled spiced wine is a memory. The heated, spiced wine is synonymous with the Christmas season, a time of love, friends, happiness, and joy. A good cup of christkindl (Christmas) Glühwein transports you into that world. Glühwein ascended in popularity through Christkindlmarkt, Christmas Markets, in Germany, places filled with holiday cheer and goodness. 

Not much is known about the first Christkindlmarkts, or Christmas markets. We do know that they served as a place for farmers to sell their goods, and for people to come together and celebrate the holiday season. Over time, these markets became more and more popular, eventually becoming the staple of German Christmas culture that we know today.

With its rich history and unique traditions, it’s no wonder that the Christkindlmarkt has become a global phenomenon. Cities big and small in Germany take their town squares hostages for several weeks leading up to and through the holiday season in this seasonal farmers market.

Just like cities large and small in the United States have farmer’s markets, so, too, do Christmas Markets pop up throughout the entire country of Germany and Europe. At any of these markets you can find a local, with a recipe probably passed down for generations, stirring a pot blackened by open flames, and filled with Glühwein.

At these markets, you can purchase everything from handmade decorations to fresh foods and Glühwein. Some of the more popular Christkindlmarkts are in the bigger cities of Germany, including Nuremberg, Munich, Heidelberg, Dresden, Berlin, Frankfurt, and more.

So if you find yourself in Germany during the holidays, be sure to check one out! And if not, don’t worry — you can always find a Christmas market near you. Just keep an eye out for the telltale signs: twinkling lights, the smell of fresh gingerbread, and the sound of holiday cheer.

Best Wine for Gluhwein

Use Franzia. Or a similar sweet, boxed red wine.

No joke. Slap that bag. The best wine for Gluhwein is a sweet, cheap red wine. 

You’re going to season the wine heavily with aromatic and sweet spices that overpower the wine’s original flavor. No need to get fancy and show off your sommelier wine picking skills here.

Go cheap and bountiful, because the final product is going to be a very drinkable, dare I saw chuggable, flavorful beverage.

The best wine for Glühwein is a sweet medium bodied red wine. I like to avoid full bodied, dry red wines. If you can’t stomach Franzia or the like, here is a list of other good varietals to try:

Dornfelder

Malbec

Garnacha

Lambrusco

Zinfandel

Shiraz

Any Blended Sweet Red 

Port 

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?

Glühwein is from Germany. Glogg is from Scandinavia. Mulled Wine is a loose English translation. But, they are all the same, with slight variations. 

Glühwein Recipes

Glühwein is traditionally made with cinnamon sticks, cloves, citrus peel, cardamom pods and sugar. The addition of these warming spices makes Glühwein the perfect drink for chilly winter evenings. Below are several variations on Glühwein.

Boozn’ Sam’s Glow

Traditional Glühwein

Wassail (UK)

Glogg (Swedish)

Episode 26 – Interview with Bayfield Winery

Episode 26 – Interview with Bayfield Winery

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 26 Details:

In this episode I was joined by Phil from ⁠Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cider⁠ in Bayfield, WI. This episode is a follow up to episode 24. It does contain spoilers for that episode, so if you haven’t listened to that one yet, start there.

In this episode we cover a wide range of topics, from the 100 year old farmhouse turned tasting room to the fruit loop area in Wisconsin. We talked about co-ferments and why it’s important that you don’t have to wear a hazmat suit when you’re tending to your fruit. 

Show Notes:

Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cider⁠ ⁠

⁠Bayfield Winery Tasting Room⁠

⁠Art and Science 2023 Emergence Co-Ferment Wine

Episode 25 – Nursery Rhymes and Treason

Episode 25 – Nursery Rhymes and Treason

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 25 Notes:

Sep was a legendary man, but his wit and critique of politics led him to a jail cell and a life changing experience. His experience has shaped the lives of millions today too, and gave us a story, about a drink, that many of us already know.

Transcript of Podcast:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

Uncle Nate went to see his nephew Sep in jail. He hoped that he could help him. He hoped that he could get him out. He was 57 then. An old man. But, not so old and not so forgotten that he didn’t have sway. After all, Sep was in jail because of art, and it was art that Nathanial Hawthorne had spent his whole life creating.

He’d created many famous works as a novelist and short story writer. They were different than the works Sep created. But, Sep was younger. He was of a different generation. He’d come of age during the civil war. Saw blood. Saw death. Saw people killing each other because of race and hate. 

And the charges against Sep were steep. If he was guilty he would die. That was the way it went when you were accused of treason. The country was divided. Risks couldn’t be taken. So, Uncle Nate knew that it was foolish for Sep to do what he’d done. But, he also knew that Sep was still honing his craft. Still finding his voice. He just hoped that his voice wouldn’t put him in front of a firing squad.

For Sep, things had started out innocent enough. He had wrote a song, like many of his other songs. A commentary. A light hearted song. A song as a critique of the times. After all, what good was the freedom of speech if you could speak, out when you had something to say. So, Sep spoke. 

And he was surprised to hear how many listened. At this point he’d published ballads under the name Alice Hawthorne. He published so many and with such skill that they became famous as Hawthornes Ballads.

He published under other pen names too. Male pen names. Some songs he sold to the highest bitter, because an artist had to make a living. But, Sep had many ways of making a living. 

He was a self taught musician. A teacher. A performer. And a publisher. In short, Sep was vertically integrated.

Vertical integration. It’s a business concept where you own every step along the production line. If you’re making tires. You own the rubber tree plantation. You own the rubber manufacturing facility. You own the tire shop that sells the rubber tires.

It’s a way to provide security for your business. And a way to create multiple revenue streams, while also decreasing your expenses. 

So Sep wrote the musical notes for a piece. Sep wrote the lyrics. Sep performed the music. Sep published the music. This also meant that Sep could publish whatever the heck he wanted. 

And he did just that. He chose to writ some very interesting songs. He choose to write a ton of drinking songs, because this was Philadelphia and he was German. He chose, to be prolific. 

Sep wrote over 200 instruction books on 23 different instruments… all of which he’d taught himself how to play. 

Sep, also, at this time 1862, had written almost 1,000 songs. Many of which you know. But, this song, the song that got him court martialed and tossed in jail for treason, you probably don’t know. 

He wrote a song about a general. General George McClellan. A general Abraham Lincoln had just fired. General George was also a well liked man. And Sep’s song sold 80,000 copies in two days. 

He hadn’t expected it. But, he wasn’t unhappy about it either. Others, were not as happy. And they threw him in jail on treason charges. Which carried a penalty of death. Which brought his uncle Nathanial Hawthorne out of his home and trying to talk some sense into those that brought charges against him. 

Sep was eventually released, but he had to compromise. He felt dirty about it. He felt like Tom, who was no doubt the one that had ratted him out for the song, was hiding around the next street corner trash talking his good name. 

But, Sep wasn’t ready to die. Sep had more music to write. So, he promised to destroy any remaining copies of the song and forget all about it. That was in 1862. He left something behind in that jail. A part of him. And when he went back to writing music, which he most surely went back to writing music. He wrote some very famous works, and at least one work, about a drink, that you likely haven’t heard of.

Two years later he wrote a popular drinking song you’ve surely heard of. It was called “Oh where oh where, has my little dog gone.”

You probably know the lyrics. Or heard some version of the nursery rhythm. 

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone

Oh where oh where, can he be.

His ears cut short and his tail cut long

Oh where oh where, is he.

Buuuuttt, what you probably don’t know is the rest of the verses of this song. Because this song was not a nursery song for little boys and girls. 

This song…was a drinking song. And that’s why the next three versus were cut out. Because they are most definitely not appropriate for innocent ears. 

A sausage is good, bologna of course

Oh where, oh where, can he be

They make them with dog and they make them with horse

I guest they makes them with me.

There is also the slightly unhinged original version of ten little Indians. You might have remembered this song from childhood. A fun, nursery rhyme to help you count to ten. Or, you might not, because I’m pretty sure it’s been deemed inappropriate as a song today, because it’s about Native Americans and the term Indians is used. 

But, that’s actually not the inappropriate part of the song, and since I’m a native to America, I was born here after all, I’ll share the original version of the song with you. It’s the version made as another drinking song, about the indigenous people of North America… which Christopher Columbus originally called Indians because he thought he’d reached The West Indies. 

I think you might find, that the piece was written in satire, especially with the way the word Indian is pronounced. And if you don’t… I honestly don’t care. This is a podcast about history, society and culture. I’m not arrogant enough to think I should, one hundred and sixty years removed from context, pass judgment on something. I’m here because there is a whole world out there of things that have happened in the past that are very fascinating. And this is one of them. So, the original version.

Here we go. A one. A Two. A one, two, three.

Ten little Injuns standin’ in a line, One toddled home and then there were nine; 

Nine little Injuns swingin’ on a gate, One tumbled off and then there were eight. 

One little, two little, three little, four little, five little Injun boys, Six little, seven little, eight little, nine little, ten little Injun boys. 

Eight little Injuns gayest under heav’n. One went to sleep and then there were seven; 

Seven little Injuns cuttin’ up their tricks, One broke his neck and then there were six. 

Six little Injuns all alive, One kicked the bucket and then there were five; 

Five little Injuns on a cellar door, One tumbled in and then there were four. 

Four little Injuns up on a spree, One got fuddled and then there were three; 

Three little Injuns out on a canoe, One tumbled overboard and then there were two. 

Two little Injuns foolin’ with a gun, One shot t’other and then there was one; 

One little Injun livin’ all alone, He got married and then there were none

These two songs were common songs written by Sep. It was the satire, fun drinking type of song he wrote. And there was one more that he wrote, about a drink, which is why I’m telling this story at all. 

Because he wrote about a man named Tom. Tom was a slippery figure. Tom was a scoundrel. Tom liked to talk mean behind everyone’s back. Tom thought he was better than other poeple. Tom thought he was elevated. Tom thought he was funny. Tom judged people, like you’d might be judging me now. 

Or, like you might be judging the songs above. I’m not saying you’re a scoundrel. Or, a slippery figure. I’m just telling you how Tom was.

Tom liked to talk about other people to his friends. Tom liked to spread rumors. 

So, Sep got his friends over at the publishing house W. H. Boner and Co. to publish a little diddy about him. That was what Sep did. That was how Sep ended up in jail on treason charges.

But, this time, no one disagreed with the song. It was another drinking song, about a man, everyone hated. And it goes like this. 

Verse 1:

Tom is my name, I beg leave to state. 

You’ve heard of me, I dare suppose. 

Quite often here of late.

Chorus:

I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere. 

But rather hard to find

Don’t attempt to look me up, unless you’re well inclined.

Verse 2:

I count myself a gentleman, or something of the sort

Tho’ many may seem inclined to take me as a common sport

I’m willing to apologize, and reach my hand to all

Who are inclined to wait on me and give a friendly call

Chorus:

I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere. 

But rather hard to find

Don’t attempt to look me up, unless you’re well inclined.

Verse 3:

I’ll tell you how it is my friends and you will all agree

Some wretches without heart or soul, are fooling you and me

So let us keep our tempers straight, and take the joke as fair

We’ll get along much better boys, in acting on the square

It was a beautiful piece about a scoundrel of a man. Tom. But, Tom had more of a story to tell.

You see, Tom was not a man at all. Tom was a joke. And nothing more. 

A prank one played on a friend at the bar that’d go something like this. 

“Hey did you hear what Tom said about you?”

Friend, takes a sip. “No, what?”

“Well, Tom said you’re a no good, dirty playing, cheat. And he’s right outside. Just around the corner.”

At which point your infuriated friend will slam down his drink, head outside and look around the corner at the end of the block. Of course tom isn’t there, becuase tom is just a prank. A couple friends throwing back some drinks and messing with each other. 

But, a bartender saw the opportunity. So he took Tom, and he made him into a drink. 

Gin. Lemon. Sugar. And club soda.

And he called the drink, after the devilish prankster himself. 

Tom Collins. 

And Sep Winner… well he would go on to write almost 1,500 songs over his lifetime. One of his popular songs, Listen to the Mockingbird,” about a lost lover and written under the name of Alice Hawthorne (The Hawthorne name taken from his mom’s brother and famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne) that sold over 15 million copies. In 1855.

Sep’s hard work and sense of humor would pay off. In the year 1970 he was inducted into the Songwriters hall of fame for his prolific contributions to music.

And Tom Collins, well he got a permanent song and a drink named after him.

Anyway… I’ll drink to that. 

The Ultimate White Wine Sangria Sangria Recipe

The Ultimate White Wine Sangria Sangria Recipe

There is a sangria recipe, and then there is a sangria sangria recipe. This is the latter. Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with our latest creation: Pineapple Coconut Sangria. It’s exotic. It’s delicious. It’s not for everyone. But, if you love coconut, then you’ll love this. Taking a sip is like taking a trip to a sunny, tropical beach, with palm trees swaying behind you and the gentle lapping of the surf in front of you. Check it out now, and let me know what you think in the comments or on social media.

Ingredients for White Wine Pineapple Coconut Sangria:

Ingredients:

To create a yummy Pineapple Coconut Sangria, you’ll need the following:

– 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

– 1 cup coconut rum

– 1/2 cup coconut water

– 1/4 cup pineapple juice

– 1/4 cup simple syrup (adjust to taste)

– 1 cup diced pineapple

– 1 cup shredded coconut

– 1 lime, thinly sliced

– Fresh mint leaves for garnish

– Ice cubes for serving

Instructions:

1. dice up that pineapple, but watch those fingers. Nothing ruins a good time like losing a finger.

2.  In a large pitcher, combine the dry white wine, coconut rum, coconut water, pineapple juice, and simple syrup. Stir with all your might, but not too much might, ensuring all ingredients are well mixed. Gotta get them flavors to harmonize.

3.  Now it’s time to casually chuck in the diced pineapple and shredded coconut.

4. Those delicious flavors need time to infuse. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. More flavor, more time. Infuse overnight for a more intense, delicious taste.

4. Then simply add ice to glasses, mix in white sangria. Serve and enjoy!

*Want it extra boozy and with more flavor? Add in orange triple sec.

**Add lime or lemon seltzer water for some fizz.

White Wine Pineapple Coconut Sangria:

I’ll admit. This recipe isn’t for everyone. But, it is an amazing white wine sangria for those itching for a bit of tropical flavor and fun. If’ you’ve read this far, I’m amazed at your attention span. Pat yourself on the back, and enjoy your Sangria. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being you. Have the best day ever.

Skip the DIY and save time by using Boozn Sam’s premade sugar-free Sangria kits.

Episode 24 – Father Knows Best

Episode 24 – Father Knows Best

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 24 Notes:

He came from France with a calling, and endured the bitter cold of winter, leaving behind a legacy of families and places throughout the Midwest that have withstood the test of time. This endless adventure, filled with near death experiences, war, and adventure was inspired by my friends at Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cider.