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Traditional German Mulled Wine Recipe (Glühwein) (30 Mins)

German Mulled Wine served in glasses

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Ahhhh, mulled wine. Or perhaps spiced wine, depending on where you’re from. We look forward to this season every single year.

Just for a short time, HurryTheFoodUp is becoming HurryTheDrinkUp and we say at least a part of Christmas can be dedicated to getting drunk. In style 😉

The Germans know this as well as anyone, and after playing around with a classic mulled wine (or ‘Glühwein’ recipe to be precise) we’ve come up with the ultimate Christmas and winter drink.

What is Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine is a combination of red wine, spices, fruits and sometimes other liquors. It’s served warm and traditionally enjoyed during the winter, especially around Christmas time.

You may also have heard mulled wine described as Glühwein, spiced wine or Gløgg – just to name a few. The beauty of mulled wine is that it’s often slightly different depending on where in the world you try it and whose recipe you’re tasting. 

Whether you’re sipping it from a mug at a German market or enjoying it with friends at a Christmas party, you’re in for a treat!

What does it taste like?

Whilst mulled wine tastes strongly of red wine (due to this being the main ingredient), it is also a lot sweeter thanks to the added fruit and sugar. 

It has a warming aroma and taste from the spices, and if you add the optional orange liquor in our recipe you get a delicious citrus flavour. It really is Christmas in a glass!

Mulled Wine Ingredients

Whilst the ingredients of spiced wine recipes vary by location and personal tastes, there are a few that tend to be a staple:

Red wine

This forms the base of mulled wine, giving it a rich flavour and beautiful colour. You can use a fairly inexpensive red wine as you will be adding spices and fruit which enhance the flavour (nobody will ever know!)

Just make sure to check that the wine you choose is vegetarian or vegan if this is your preference.


A Christmas favourite and classic addition to most mulled wine recipes, oranges add sweetness and a citrus kick.

We’ve also added some lemon zest to our German mulled wine for some extra zing.

Which Mulled Wine Spices?

This is where mulled wine (Wikipedia) recipes really start to differ, but we’ve gone with the tried and trusted combination of cinnamon sticks for a woody sweetness and star anise which adds a slight liquorice favour.

Other popular mulled wine spices include cloves, nutmeg and black peppercorns.

It’s best to use whole spices rather than ground to avoid the wine having a slightly gritty texture.

Spiced wine served in 2 glasses on blue plates with orange and cinnamon sticks on the table | Hurry The Food Up


This is an optional extra, but can really enhance the flavour (and why not, it is the festive season after all!). We’ve chosen an orange liqueur, but you can experiment with your favourite spirits – brandy and port are also popular options.

Health benefits

Ok, this recipe might not be the healthiest one we’ve ever created. It’s generally a bit of a hard sell to claim that alcohol is healthy. However, research has built up over the years and seems to show that moderate red wine consumption is beneficial for your heart health. Those Romans had it right!

Now we aren’t advocating that you start drinking red wine on the daily based on the above findings. But the occasional glass does seem to be good for us so this time around we’ll say just one thing… Enjoy! Prost!

Authentic German Mulled Wine (Glühwein) Recipe
5 from 11 votes
Traditional German mulled wine (Glühwein) with a modern twist. Very easy to make and always tasty. Get drunk in style.
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, vegan
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Servings:4 glasses


  • 1 bottle dry red wine (750ml)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (use orange zest if you don't have lemons)
  • cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 oranges


  • ½ cup orange liquor (eg. Cointreau, brandy or amaretto are also fine)


  • Juice the oranges. Zest the oranges if you don't have lemons.
    2 oranges
  • Add the red wine, lemon (or orange) zest, sugar, cinnamon sticks, star anise and orange juice to one pot and stir well.
    1 bottle dry red wine, 1 tsp lemon zest, ⅓ cup sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise
  • Bring to a simmer on a very low heat until the wine begins to foam a little.
  • Put a lid on top and simmer the wine gently for another 10-15 minutes.


  • Add the orange liquor ,put the lid back on and turn off the stove. Let it sit for another 3-5 mins.
    ½ cup orange liquor
  • Serve the wine through a colander or sieve and into heat resistant glasses.
    Traditional German Mulled Wine is ready to drink in 30 minutes | Hurry The Food Up


Tried the recipe? We’re all curious! Send us a pic via instagram by using the tag #hurrythefoodup or leave a comment below.


Nutrition Facts
Authentic German Mulled Wine (Glühwein) Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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How to serve spiced wine

It’s best to strain the mixture before serving for a smoother drink. Then simply pour into glass cups or mugs – just make sure that they are heat resistant. In fact, you can actually buy mulled wine glasses which feature a handle and wide rim which makes it easier to drink the wine when it’s garnished.

Talking of which, garnish with a cinnamon stick or orange segment and enjoy!

Keeping it warm and reheating 

Ideally, mulled wine should be served warm. If you’re serving it to a large number of guests throughout the evening, you could consider transferring it into a slow cooker on a very low heat after straining.

If you don’t have that option, you can certainly reheat mulled wine that’s not been sitting out for too long. Pop it back into the pan and heat on low – making sure to never bring it to the boil.

If you’re looking for festive dishes to serve up with your mulled wine this Christmas, check out our page of holiday recipes. The Bad Ass Nut Roast and Vegetable Wellington are two of our personal favourites and sure to go down a treat over the winter season!

5 from 11 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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  1. Pingback: November Festivities | bewitchered
  2. 5 stars
    My German roots approve this recipe. haha. YUM

  3. Let it be Mulled wine! Here’s the perfect Christmas drink to me, I just love its aroma and fruity hint. Oh, let’s not forget it’s healthier compared to vodka shots (also, a glass of wine a day is no harm).

    1. The other day a friend of mine from Poland told me a shot of vodka helps against a cold. Her grandmom believed in those healing effects of vodka. I didn’t try it though, haha.

  4. I love mulled wine but I’ve never made my own except cheating and using a ready made spice bag. It’s on my list to definitely try this Christmas.

    Excellent photos as usual.

    Thanks for linking up to my #FoodYearLinkup 🙂

    1. Haha, well, I’m not sure if it’s cheating. I actually like the idea of spice bags. Unfortunately they don’t have them over here in Spain. Not even ready made mulled wine. Usually Lidl used to have it, but it seems that the Spanish were not too fond of it 😉
      Yes, the linkup! I also should put the little banner, right? (sorry, I forgot about it and thanks for reminding!).

  5. Oooh this looks great! I haven’t had mulled mine since I was in Europe – it was so good on a cold day! I’ll need to try this out.

    1. Mulled mine? I actually just googled it because the “w” is so far away from the “m” on the keyboard. But nope, doesn’t exist, hahaha. I have to say, mulled wine made winter so much more fun in Germany.