German Glühwein: Mulled wine in the wintertime

Glühwein (“glow-wine”)  is a mulled wine, traditional alcoholic beverage drank during Christmas time in Germany.

Glühwein is usually made with red wine along with various spices and sugar, served hot or warm. Mulling spices can vary from region to region but they normally contain a combination of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, sometimes star anise, pepper and/or cardamom.

A small history of Mulled Wine

In Germany the Romans brought wine up to the river Rhine and Danube as well as recipes of warm and mulled wines. Glühwein became very fast popular in Germany due to its warming character in winter times. The beverage is first documented in Germany in 1420 on a gold-plated lockable silver tankard of the Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen. A popular variation of Glühwein is Feuerzangenbowle:  The red wine is spiced and heated in a special bowl on the table and a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire dripping heated sugar into the mulled wine.

Today, Glühwein is traditionally served outdoors on Christmas Markets in Germany. Many Germans like their Glühwein with a “Schuss” – adding a shot of liquor (i.e. Rum)  to the mulled wine. Variations of the beverage are known in England (British mulled wine) and in the Nordic countries (glögg).

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