Spiced German Gluwhein
Spiced German Gluwhein, a German-style holiday mulled red wine recipe with oranges, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and brandy. A festive holiday party punch alternative!
Mulled wine is one of our favorite holiday traditions. It's no secret I love wine any time of year, but there's something about the aroma of mulled wine spices in the air during the holiday season; it's like a little bit of magic in a cup.
While there are many mulled wine recipe alternatives, I love to make a twist on gluwhein, the German mulled wine that is most often associated with outdoor Christmas markets. Made with red wine, mulling spices, a bit of liquor, and orange, it's the perfect warm seasonal drink to enjoy during Yule.
That's why I'm super excited to share this easy Spiced German Gluwhein recipe with you. The vegan spiced wine recipe comes together in under 20 minutes and is the perfect low maintenance crowd-pleasing drink recipe for holiday parties.
Ready to learn how to make Spiced German Gluwhein? Let's do it!
How to make German-style holiday mulled wine
The first step of making this German mulled wine recipe is to make the spiced simple syrup recipe. First, add the orange juice, sugar, and spices to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, cooking until the liquid has reduced and it starts to thicken and smell fragrant (about 10 minutes).
After the spiced syrup is thick, add the red wine and your liquor of choice. I like brandy or amaretto, but rum and bourbon are also popular mulled wine liquor additions. Heat the mulled wine on low for about 15 minutes to let the wine become spiced, but be careful not to simmer or boil (even a low simmer) because the alcohol will burn off (it's science!).
When you're ready to serve, scoop out mulled wine with a punch bowl spoon and garnish with an orange. Enjoy around the holiday tree with friends and family.
Spiced German Gluwhein can be made and held at a warm temperature for up to four hours. You can make this recipe before guests arrive and then leave on a hotplate so it's warm and ready to serve (again, make sure not to boil!).
Spiced German Gluwhein: Tips, tricks, and tools
This delicious holiday-spiced mulled wine is super simple to make, but there are a few tips and tricks that will make your holiday party planning easier:
- Keep it warm: use a small hotplate to keep gluwhein warm during your holiday party
- Experiment with mulling spices: while cinnamon is a must for mulling spices, you can switch up the flavors by incorporating herbs and spices like peppermint oil extract, nutmeg, whole cloves, vanilla bean, orange rind, rosemary, and star anise
- Prep ahead: Combine mulling spices ahead of time (they also make great edible holiday gifts!); make spiced simple syrup up to a week ahead of time and reheat before making mulled wine.
- Leftovers and Storage: After cooling wine to room temperature, store in an airtight pitcher in the refrigerator for up to one week. Reheat over the stove following same instructions as above.
- Use responsibly-sourced ingredients: buy sustainably-produced wines and fair trade spices whenever possible
Love this simple gluwhein recipe? Check out our other seasonal cocktail and drink recipes, like this Pomegranate Margarita or this Mocha Matcha Green Tea Latte (add a shot of liquor for a boozy treat!).
Did you make this Spiced German Gluwhein? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Save this Christmas cocktail recipe for later by pinning to your favorite winter Pinterest board and make sure to tag me on Fork in the Road’s Instagram to show me your cocktail creations!
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 10 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 1 750ml bottle red wine
- 1/4 cup brandy, bourbon, rum, or amaretto
- Garnish: orange slices, cinnamon stick, star anise
- To make make spiced simple syrup: Combine orange juice and sugar in a medium saucepan, simmering over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise and simmer until the liquid is reduced and starts to thicken.
- Combine simple syrup with the wine: Reduce heat to medium-low and add red wine, being careful not to simmer or boil (which burns off the alcohol). Add liquor of choice (brandy or amaretto are great options), heating just below a simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Serve the gluwhein: Serve warm with an orange slice.
- Heating tip: keep warm for up to four hours over a low heat, but do not boil.
Notes: Be careful not to boil wine or else alcohol will burn off...and then it will just be juice. Keep gluwhein warm during a party by placing in a serving dish over low heat (a hotplate works well for parties) for up to four hours.
Prep Ahead: Combine mulling spices head of time (they also make great edible holiday gifts!); make spiced simple syrup up to a week ahead of time and reheat before making mulled wine.
Leftovers and Storage: After cooling wine to room temperature, store in an airtight pitcher in the refrigerator for up to one week. Reheat over the stove until warm, but not boiling.
Nutrition notes: This holiday spiced wine recipe is a great low calorie celebratory drink. The added sugar is a traditional ingredient addition that only slightly sweetens the wine, however you could omit it and it would still be a delicious holiday party option.
Serving Size:1 glass (8oz, 30ml)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g