Make real German homemade Glühwein from this secret family recipe

Guest post by Christina
Gløgg (mulled wine)

Glühwein (mulled wine) is really popular in Germany at Christmas. You get it in every Christmas Market and a lot of people make their own at home. Glühwein is a hot drink traditionally made of red wine, tea, spices and sugar. So if you want to try it, I’ll show you how.

What you need:

  • a teapot
  • a cooking pot
  • 5-6 teaspoons of loose black tea
  • 1 quart of water
  • 2.5 cups of sugar
  • juice of 4 (pesticide-free) oranges and 2 lemons
  • 1 vanilla bean cut into pieces
  • 4 or 5 sugar cubes
  • 3 bottles of red wine
  • 8 fl.oz. of arrak or rum


  1. Put 5-6 teaspoons of loose black tea in a teapot and pour boiling water on it until it is slightly covered with water. Let it steep for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, put the sugar in the pot and add one quart of water, the juice and the vanilla bean. Cook everything until it boils.
  3. Rub the sugar cubes on a piece of orange zest and add the sugar cubes to the boiling mixture.
  4. Take the pot off the burner to stop the boiling.
  5. Blend in the wine, arrak/rum, and the tea without the leaves (you might have to filter it).

Now you can enjoy your homemade Glühwein!

When you want to enjoy it later or give it to someone as a present, filter it (because of the vanilla bean) and bottle it up. Then reheat it before drinking. It will even taste better! Then you will understand why we Germans LOVE our Glühwein.

Comments on Make real German homemade Glühwein from this secret family recipe

  1. Oh my!! I LOVE you put this up! I’m from Germany and I’m making my first German family Christmas this year.. Total freaked out but that’s ok! And I almost forgot this! Thanks for the reminder now to make this, since Christmas is the 24th for us(which fits perfectly well cause then my future husbands family gets to do whatever they want to on the 25th ahhh blended traditions :)) anyway thanks for all your wonderful ideas and your great reminder!

  2. I had Glühwein for the first time a couple weeks ago at a holiday party. Here in Pennsylvania there are a lot of folks with German roots, so you can actually buy it pre-made from many liquor stores (but homemade is probably better). At the party, our hosts served the Glühwein out of a slow-cooker with a ladle, punch-style, so it stayed nice and hot all evening!

  3. Nothing better than Glühwein! <3

    Our family recipe is quite similar, in case anyone's interested:

    3 litres (bottles) of red wine
    1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
    3 sticks of cinnamon, 5 stars of aniseed, 1 vanilla bean
    1 whole pesticide-free orange with lots of cloves stuck into it
    3 cups of fruit or rosehip tea
    3 cups of orange juice
    1 cup of brown sugar
    1 shot of Amaretto (or almond aroma if you prefer)

    I'm rather sure that every family has their own secret and authentic recipe 🙂 I'm from Austria and I was taught that Glühwein is only with wine and hot alcoholic beverages with hard liquor like Christina's recipe are called Punsch. But it doesn’t matter at all in the end, either is delicious 😉

    Christmas greetings from Vienna!

    • Yep, my dad is Austrian and Glühwein for me is wine only. The hard liquor (151 proof rum, usually) is for setting sugar cones on fire OVER the Glühwein. Yay, Feuerzangenbowle!

      Between Feuerzangenbowle and Bleigiessen (dropping molten lead or silver into water on New Year’s Eve and interpreting its shape to tell you next year’s fortune), my coworkers have decided that I become a pyromaniac during the month of December.

      • I LOVE Feuerzangengbowle. A German friend introduced me to it a few years back. I ordered a case of zuckerhuts a few years ago from a german deli supplier (never could find them at local delis), and feuerzangenbowle has become a holiday tradition for us.

  4. Good recipe, but what you describe here is Punsch, not Glühwein. Glühwein is only wine with some spices ans sugar (or honey). Punsch can be a mixture of different teas, wines, rum or even juices

  5. My family is Swedish and Danish on my mother’s side, and we make Glögg at Christmas. The recipe involves mulling the wine with spices and almond slivers, then pouring brandy over sugar cubes through a strainer into the mulled wine mixture and lighting the sugar and brandy in fire. We let it burn until it extinguishes itself. My dad always eats whatever sugar doesn’t burn off.

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