Gluhwein is German (and/or Austrian) mulled wine. It is named after the hot iron rods originally used to mull the wine (“glow wine”), and is commonly enjoyed during the holiday season. It is everywhere here.
I first encountered Gluhwein several weeks back, while my partner and I were shopping at a massive farmer’s market in the Limpertsberg neighborhood of Luxembourg City. I then encountered it again (several times in the same evening, in fact) at one of the many Christmas markets here.
When I eat or drink something I like, I usually obsess about it until I have figured out how best to make it at home. So I did just that. I looked up several recipes online, but finally just developed my own based on ease and spice availability. I served it for a dinner party recently, and it was enjoyed by all, so I will share it here (if it had induced vomiting at the party, I wouldn’t be mentioning it).
It is surprisingly easy and can be made quickly at home.
A big pot. I used my stockpot.
A stove or open flame of some sort.
A strainer *You can also wrap all the spices in cheesecloth, which is easier–if you have cheesecloth.
Some mugs for drinking.
2 cups (480 mL) orange juice
1/2 cup (120 mL) sugar
5 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp ginger (10 mL) *This is one time powdered ginger is fine, but don’t make a habit of it.
2 bottles of a dry red *I used a red Cote De Rhone, but anything works. It does NOT need to be an expensive wine, as you’re going to dump a bunch or sugar and spice into it.
2 oranges, sliced, peels still on.
Heat pan over medium heat. Add orange juice, and stir in sugar until dissolved. Add the spices, stir, then pour in the wine. When it starts to bubble, set heat to low and add the oranges. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes before serving so the wine is infused with the oranges and spices. Stir occasionally.
*To serve, ladle into mugs through a strainer (or ladle directly from pot if you kept all the spices together in a cheesecloth).
WARNING: This served 4 comfortably, but be aware that this is really tasty and goes fast (it also reduces some while simmering). If you try to cut this in half and make it with only one bottle of wine, you may regret it.