DIY Glühwein

Just because you all don’t live in Germany does not mean you can’t get at it all festive-like this season, JUST.LIKE.US.

Christmastime in Germany is magical and it’s not just because you’re constantly wandering around in a Gluhwein haze. Or maybe it is. Who cares. Either way, I thought maybe this weekend, while my sister is in town, we should try to start making our own batches of Gluhwein and keep this tradition up until we head home, in order to perfect the art of German booze making to later pass on to Americans.

So, for anyone else interested in making this fancy little number, here is a recipe for you. I can make my own, revised recipe after making an ungodly amount (and tasting the local fare) this weekend. For now, this recipe is compliments of Geoff Wilson from his “Dreaming of Winter” blog ( Enjoy!

For 4 litres (16 cups) of red wine you need:

Caster sugar (amount proportional to quality of red wine, the worse the wine the more sugar you need, add it to taste, but start with about 2 cups)

6 – 8 Cinnamon sticks

Whole cloves

2 Oranges

Whole allspice

2 cups of orange juice

If you wish to get your friends and yourself tipsy (of course) even more quickly, or just to add a little extra kick, add brandy, sweet sherry or port to the mix. (optional but rather tasty)


Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – you must not let the wine boil or the world could end… and that is not something you want to risk…

I tend to cut the oranges into slices and then put about 4 cloves into each slice, then put them in with the wine.

Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as 10 of the whole all spice.

Add in the sherry or port as well as 2 cups of orange juice.

Add in 2 cups of sugar and stir.

Stir on and off for about 30 mins to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed (possible up to 4 or 5 cups more in the wine is really bad).

Let it cook/infuse/whatever for about 30 mins more (again, not letting it boil).

Drink and be happy 🙂