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 20 years, AmaWaterways offers unparalleled river cruise experiences with 26 custom-designed ships sailing Europe’s Danube, Douro, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Rhône, Saône, Seine, Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, and Dutch and Belgian Waterways; Southeast Asia’s Mekong River; Africa’s Chobe River; Egypt’s Nile River and Colombia’s Magdalena River (2023).Co-founded and led by pioneering river cruise executives Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, the company is renowned for its extraordinarily warm and welcoming crew; innovative and sustainable ship design; its wellness activities including a wide choice of included small group shore excursions featuring biking and hiking options; and its award-winning, locally sourced cuisine with complimentary fine wine. Modern, spacious and tastefully decorated, most ships welcome an average of just 150 guests and feature onboard amenities such as a stunning Main Lounge, specialty Chef’s Table restaurant, hair and massage salons, a Sun Deck walking track with heated outdoor swimming pools with swim-up bars. 

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