Gluhwein Recipe: Quick, Simple & Tasty

EASY GLUHWEIN RECIPE: It’s Christmas in a Cup!

Glühwein – that magical elixir that seems to come around during the Winter months. It’s Christmas in a cup – a real hug in a mug. I’ve been surprised to see that few pubs and bars in Cape Town serve glühwein. It’s the perfect drink to have on a cold night – whatever the occasion.

Anyway, I decided to try make it myself and combined about five glühwein recipes I found into one, super recipe! It’s cheap, tasty and very easy.

Easy Gluhwein Recipe

Easy Gluhwein Recipe (image:

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One large pot
  • 1½ bottles of red wine (or box wine)
  • ½ litre of orange juice
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • A cinnamon stick
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • Cloves (around 10)

Method: Making Glühwein

Pour the orange juice into the pot. Dissolve the sugar in a cup of hot or boiling water and add this with the orange juice. Throw in a cinnamon stick and a couple of bay leaves.

Bring this mixture to the boil. While things are heating up, slice the apples into wedges and stick one or two cloves into each segment (use about 10 or so cloves in total). Add your cloved fruit to the pot.

Once boiling, turn the heat down to allow the scented mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes. (It should already start smelling like lovely glühwein at this point and should get a bit syrupy).

Add the wine and stir things up a bit. Once heated, turn the stove down to a low heat. Your glühwein should be steaming not bubbling.

Once the apples look cooked and start going mushy, your glühwein is ready to drink! Strain all the bits out (apples, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon) if desired; the longer you leave them in the spicier your glühwein will become. Serve hot.

Optional Gluhwein Recipe Extras / Alternatives:

  • Frost your glasses with sugar (as illustrated above)
  • Simply double all the ingredients in the above gluhwein recipe to make more!
  • One could substitute cheap red wine with something classier, but I find that this really makes little difference. It’s cheapest to by a 3 litre box wine.
  • Apples can be substituted with lemons or oranges depending on your tastes. Cut into slices and insert the cloves into the orange or lemon peels if you decide to make your glühwein more citrus-like.

Interesting Reading:


Galen (name), meaning: "Curious One". A lover of language, human ingenuity and the forces of the universe. Hugely drawn towards the mysterious and unknown. Regular laughter and escapism essential.

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