Glühwein means “glow wine” in German, coming both from the glowing cheeks you get from drinking it and the glowing warmth you have inside after drinking it.
Using white wine instead of red in Glühwein has become quite popular at German Christmas markets during the last few years and has always been the first choice in classic white wine regions. Making your own means you can make it as sweet or “sour” as you like it. This one is not quite so sweet and blends well with a dry white wine.
- 2 bottles of dry white wine, of 0.75 liters each
- 2 organic lemons, washed and 1 large strip of lemon zest removed for use
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 large star anise
- 4 cloves
- 200 grams / 1 cup brown sugar – if you use sweeter wine add less sugar
- ½ cup / 12 cl. dark rum (optional)
Putting it all together:
- The most important part of making glühwein is to make sure that it never boils – this would remove the alcohol which in turn would defeat the purpose of drinking glühwein. It is best to simmer it with the spices on the lowest possible heat and remove or strain the spices before serving. If you want the spices for decoration purposes than use fresh one when serving.
- Put the white wine in a tall pot with the lemon zest, squeeze the lemons and strain the juice into the wine.
- Add the cinnamon stick, star anise and the cloves.
- Warm the mixture on the lowest temperature. Once it is warm add the sugar, either all at once or you may want to put only half in and taste and gradually add more. Melt the sugar in the wine mixture stirring with a wooden spoon.
- As soon as a slight foam rises on the wine, remove the pot from the heat and cover and let sit for 10 minutes to steep the spices.
- Remove the spices – reheat slightly to drinking temperature taking care not to boil.
- At this stage you may add the rum if everyone wants some, if not serve the glühwein in mugs and add the rum individually if desired.