The best Glühwein recipe!

The Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Finns, and Danes obviously make the best mulled wine or Glühwein (Glow Wine) – they do have to survive the winter cold! Traditionally served at Christmas time to keep out the cold, Flava suggests you make and serve your Glühwein with our winter warmers, Coq Au Vin L’orange in a Bag or our Pork Goulash with Mash.

It fills the house with wonderful smells, tastes great, warms the tum and cries “Christmas”.


Serves 4 to 10 (depending on how thirsty you are)


1 orange

2 x 750ml bottles of dry red wine (the better, the better)

2 cups sugar (more if you use a “cheap and cheerful” wine, but taste it first before adding more)

20 whole cloves

1 Tablespoon allspice (if you have it in your kitchen)

4 sticks of cinnamon

2 whole star anise

Brandy, rum or amaretto for serving (optional, but highly recommended)

You can experiment by adding cardamom, vanilla, ginger, blanched almonds, raisons or even black pepper. 


1.    Remove the zest of the orange in wide strips using a potato peeler. Try not to peel off the white pith – set aside

2.    Juice the orange and set the juice aside

3.    In a large, stainless steel or nonreactive pot, add the wine and on a LOW heat, bring to a gentle simmer (it must not boil, or the alcohol will be cooked off)

4.    Add the sugar (start with 1 cup and add more to your taste)

5.    Add the cloves, cinnamon, star anise, allspice (optional), orange zest and juice

6.    Reduce the heat and let it just barely simmer for at least 20 minutes but up to an hour if you have the time

7.    Stir occasionally and keep an eye on it to ensure it does not reach a full simmer

8.    Taste and add more sugar if needed

9.    Taste again and add the brandy, rum or amaretto for an extra kick and to keep out the cold

10. Strain and serve in small mugs

11. Garnish with a piece of orange peel and a star anise