This is the national drink during the wintertime in Germany. You will be able to find this brew on practically ANY Weihnachtsmarkt or Christkindlmarkt in Germany. New Year's is also a popular time for drinking Glühwein literwise. It is usually sold out of little stalls in mugs or plastic cups. The mugs often bear the name of the Markt and the year and for a few euros can be kept as a souvenir.

Glühwein can be traced all the way back to Roman times. Apicius' cookbook from the turn of the millenium details a "conditum paradoxum" or "Wine of Spice and Surprise" which's ingredients include wine, honey, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, laurel, koriander and thymian. The honey was added as a preservative.

Back in that day, this form of spiced wine was only available to the upper classes. Only the wealthy could afford the (at that time exotic) spices in the recipe. Peasants often resorted to "simple" peppermint for spicing.

A majorly good thing about Glühwein is that you can easily create it yourself, even in the good old US of A (or your corresponding country). It's always good during the wintertime and a natural for parties. The only negative side would be the heightened headache risk the next morning. Here I give you the original and a few variations of classic Glühwein. Prost!

Glühwein Classic

1000ml red wine
3-4 cloves (yes, you heard me)
half a stick 'o cinnamon
1-2 slices of lemon
3 large spoons of sugar (around 50-60 grams)

There are now two ways to do this; either take a fraction of the wine and add the other ingredients, bring it to a boil and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before mixing it with the rest of the wine and warming it up, OR simply throw everything into one pot and bring it almost to the boiling point, then serve. The latter method's taste isn't quite as strong as the beforementioned.


One of the more popular variations of Glühwein, there is also an old German movie of the same name (Die Feuerzangenbowle).

3 bottles of red wine
1 orange peel
1 lemon peel
5 cloves
1 small sugar hat
1 bottle of golden rum (at least 108 proof)

Now this recipe involves a little more work. Insert the fruit peels into a tea filter bag and tie it shut with some undyed string. Hang it into a copper kettle (if at hand), pour in wine and heat up to a simmer but NOT a boil. Put a barbecue grill on top of the kettle and set the sugar hat above that. Pour rum into the hat using a ladle and light it. Apply rum as necessary until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove all accessories (including the spice bag) and serve. Yummy!


Drunk often in the Alpine regions, preferably after a long skiing trek.

¼ Liter black tea
¼ Liter red wine
¼ orange juice
¼ stick of cinnamon
60-80 grams sugar
2 cloves
2 slices of lemon
4cl rum
4cl Schnapps (Kirschwasser, for example, or a dry fruit brandy)

Heat all ingredients to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Add sugar for taste. Done!