Authentic German Mulled Wine Recipe

Traditional glühwein, which translates to 'glow wine' will make cheeks rosy and keep Oktoberfest and fall fun in full swing. Be sure to keep the recipe handy for winter months, too. This soul-warming sip will put a fire in your belly (and a glow in your cheeks) when temperatures plummet.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

This recipe starts with two bottles of dry red wine and copious spices. It ends with an optional shot of hard liquor, which will dial up the warmth as needed.


  • 2 bottles (750 ml each) dry red wine (tested with Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 2 oranges, sliced into wheels (tested with navel and blood oranges)
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup rum, brandy or amaretto, optional

Yield: 20 servings


Pour the bottles of wine into a large stockpot. Add the granulated sugar and stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise and allspice. Stir briefly.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

Press whole cloves into the pith of 2 to 3 orange wheels and add them to the stock pot.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

Pour in the orange juice and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture steams but do not boil — boiling will cook out the alcohol.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

Remove from the heat and pour in the liqueur, if using. Serve warm in mugs garnished with orange wheels. Prost!

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

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