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Mulled red wine

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Mulled wine

Cold winter night + hot spiced wine has been an inseparable combination for me as of late, since I discovered mulled wine (or, Gluhwein, as it is called in German) several years ago. Mulled wine is a traditional winter drink popular in Europe around the holidays. It is also a very popular cocktail at Hanukkah parties. It’s surprisingly easy to prepare mulled wine at home, all you have to do is to heat red wine and spice it up with Cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange or lemon peel, sugar and other spices. Comforting hot drink for a cold winter night is ready!

Syrup is formed

Mulled red wine with spices, Christmas, holidays

Mulled wine


Prep time: 60 min


  • 2/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/3 cup water
  • juice squeezed from half lemon

1) Place sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg and lemon peel in a large sauce pan. Pour 1/3 cup wine over it (just to cover it) plus 1/3 cup water. Squeeze juice of half a lemon on top. Bring to boil, mix all ingredients well, making sure all sugar dissolves.

2) Simmer on low boil, covered, for 15 minutes (to infuse all flavors together), until the liquid reduces in about half and the syrup forms. The boiling syrup will have a lot of small bubbles and will be visibly reduced. At that point, pour the rest of the bottle of wine, bring the whole mixture almost to boil, mixing well. Just as the mixture is about to boil, turn off heat and let it sit covered for about 1 hour to further infuse flavors.

3) After 1 hour, sift the liquid to get rid of cloves, lemon peel, etc. Gently warm up without boiling and serve.

placing sugar spices and lemon peel in the pan

Pouring a little bit of wine over ingredients

Heating and cooking to reach syrupy consistency

Syrup is formed

Mulled wine

Mulled wine



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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Ashley December 18, 2012, 7:06 am

    I need to give this a try. My husband has been talking about making mulled wine for years now but we’ve just never done it!

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 4:32 pm

      Definitely worth it!

  • Baltic Maid December 20, 2012, 11:48 pm

    Glühwein reminds me of the Christmas markets in Germany. Walking from booth to booth on a cold winter night with Christmas music playing everywhere. Traditional handmade crafts are sold. Rides for the kids and adults… and of course, the delicious food. Glühwein is inseparable with Christmas markets for me. Like you said, it will warm you on a freezing cold night. And the smell is just delicious… Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 4:34 pm

      My friends from Europe said the same thing to me that Gluhwein is just sold on the streets in the winter in the similar way that you can get hot apple cider here in the US, just walking from store to store in the winter towns…

  • Aunt Clara December 25, 2012, 9:30 am

    Glogg is also very popular in Denmark (where my husbad is from), I loved it. I made it once here at home, but most days, even in the winter, it’s too warm to drink a warm alcoholic drink. Think headache.

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 4:35 pm

      I agree – this is a drink for a cold winter night, with snow outside. No snow – no Glogg. 🙂

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