German Glühwein – Mulled red wine

Mulled red wine is the classic German Glühwein. In the meantime, however, white Glühwein is becoming increasingly popular. No matter which wine you like better, the motto is DIY. Don’t buy industrially produced Glühwein in a discounter. The quality often suffers. Sugar often covers the low quality. For that reason the result is very likely a hangover with a bad headache the next day.

Important to realize is that mulled fruit wine (Fruchtglühwein) is not mulled wine (Glühwein). There is no wine in Fruchtglühwein. You can read more about this in the post Glühwein (Mulled wine) vs. Fruchtglühwein (Mulled fruit wine) – know the difference.

Recipe: German Glühwein – Mulled red wine

Amount: 1,1 liters


1 liter of red wine
1-2 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
3-4 tbs brown sugar
4 cardamom pods
100 ml brown rum, for Glühwein with a shot


  • Firstly crack the cardamom pods and put them in a saucepan with the cloves, cinnamon and sugar. The spices can be added loose, in a tea egg or a tea bag.
  • Then heat all ingredients, except for the rum for about 20 minutes. The wine however should never boil. Otherwise the alcohol will evaporate. As a result the Glühwein gets bitter.
  • 20 minutes later take the pot off the stove. Let the spices soak for about an hour with the lid closed. Afterwards remove the spices. If you have chosen loose spices, sift the Glühwein to get rid of them.
  • Before serving, add the rum if desired, and reheat the Glühwein. Sweeten to taste. Keep the Glühwein warm on a low flame. Don’t forget the lid. And do not boil it.
Mulled white wine with Gin and ginger


For red Glühwein, red wines with a strong taste and low acidity are preferred. These are e.g. semi-dry to dry red wines such as Dornfelder, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Trollinger or Pinot Noir.

Barriques should be rather avoided because their woody note is perceived as annoying in Glühwein.

Alcohol begins to boil at a temperature of 78 degrees Celsius

The longer the spices soak in the Glühwein pot, the more intense the taste becomes. You can let it soak up to a day if you like a very intense flavor. However, the minimum soaking time is one hour for the flavors to develop.

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