German Mulled Wine (Glühwein)
The mulled wine stands at Germany’s famous Christmas markets—Christkindlmärkte—inspired us for this recipe. Whenever we got too cold wandering a market, we’d sidle up to the nearest stand and order glühwein served in a festive mug designed just for that year. After a few sips of this hot brew of spices, sugar, citrus, wine, and booze, we’d have new energy to push on through the chill. Here, you remove strips lemon and orange zest, and place them in a saucepan with the juice. Add a cheesecloth bundle of spices (cloves and cardamom), add sugar, water, and cinnamon, and simmer add. Add red wine and brandy, heat, and you’re ready to provide mirth to a holiday party. Keep mulled wine warm in a slow cooker and let guests help themselves.
Equipment note: You’ll need cheesecloth and butcher’s twine for this recipe.
For other winter warmers, check out our Fernet Apple Hot Toddy, Hot Mulled Sherried Apple Cider, or Smoking Bishop. And see our Slow Cooker Cocktails round-up for even more wonderfully cozy ideas.
- 2 medium lemons
- 2 medium oranges
- 10 whole cloves
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 2 (750-milliliter) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Beaujolais Nouveau
- 1/2 cup brandy
- Butcher’s twine
1Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons and oranges in wide strips, avoiding the white pith; place the zest in a large saucepan. Juice the lemons and oranges and add the juice to the pan. Place the cloves and cardamom in a small piece of cheesecloth, tie it tightly with butcher’s twine, and add the bundle to the saucepan.
2Add the sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks, place the pan over high heat, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by about one-third, about 20 minutes.
3Add the red wine and brandy, stir to combine, and bring just to a simmer (don’t let it boil). Remove from the heat and remove and discard the spice bundle before serving.
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