Recipe: Glühwein

Warm-up on a cold day with some Glühwein, an essential part of winter in Europe

Enjoy this Mulled Wine recipe from our friends at AmaWaterways


Brighten up the long winter nights the way Europeans have for centuries with an intensely warming and fragrant drink of hot mulled wine fortified with spices, herbs, fruit and fruit juices, hard alcohol, and a sweetener like honey or sugar, or any combination of those ingredients.

This favorite traditional beverage can be found throughout many of Europe’s Christmas Markets with different variations of mulled wine recipes, depending on the region. For example, in Hungary, it is Forralt; in France, it’s Vin Chaud; and in Germany and Austria, it is called Glühwein. Even though there are countless varieties, three ingredients remain common across traditions — red or white wine, baking spices such as cloves, and citrus.



3 cups of white wine (Silvaner or Müller-Thurgau)

1 cup apple juice

1/4 cup Franconian plum brandy (optional but recommended, as a little of the alcohol cooks out of the wine)

4 slices of orange

2 slices of lemon

1 stick of cinnamon

1 star anise

5 allspice seeds

3 whole cloves

1 pinch of aniseed

1 tsp. honey (if you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more)

Extra slices of fruit for garnish, if desired


In a medium-sized stockpot with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the ingredients, except for the honey. Stir to combine.

Cover and bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer, keeping the lid on, for 10 minutes. Be careful not to let it come to a boil again; if it boils too long all of the alcohol will be cooked out.

After 10 minutes, immediately remove from the heat. Strain the mixture with a fine-mesh sieve; discard the aromatics. Return the mixture to the pot and taste-test. Stir in honey, tasting as you go until you reach your desired sweetness.

Ladle into desired serving glasses. Garnish with sliced fruit, cinnamon sticks, cloves, or star anise pods, if desired. Serve immediately.


Makes about 4-6 servings

Family-owned and operated for more than 21 years, AmaWaterways is a luxury river cruise line offering unforgettable experiences with 29 custom-designed ships sailing iconic rivers throughout Europe, Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa, Egypt, and, starting in 2025, Colombia. Co-founded by pioneering river cruise executives Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy, AmaWaterways is committed to its reputation of welcoming guests with a warm and inviting crew and creating immersive, truly authentic cultural experiences for active travelers of all ages. AmaWaterways leads the river cruise industry in innovation, highlighted by the launch of the revolutionary AmaMagna, and through its sustainable ship design, wide variety of small group shore excursions featuring biking and hiking options, and award-winning, locally sourced cuisine paired with fine wines from the world’s most acclaimed wine regions. 

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