German Mulled Wine (Glühwein) Recipe
One of my favorite memories of the famous Christmas markets in Germany is the mulled wine stands. Whenever I got too cold, I would just sidle up to the closest stand and order some 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, I’d be revitalized enough to push on through the cold weather. This sweet-smelling punch recipe is great for fireside sipping and can be kept warm in a slow cooker to serve at your next holiday party.
Special equipment: You’ll need cheesecloth and butcher’s twine for this recipe.
- 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
- Using 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.
- Add 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.
- Add 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.