So there we were, at the airport in Ramstein, Germany, trying to check in with 6 bottles of German Glühwein. The German customs agent glared at us disapprovingly.
“Too much wine, you can’t board the plane. You must get rid of 4 bottles,” he said.
My dad, who had lived in Germany as an Army officer during the Cold War, flashed a smile and replied, “But Glühwein is not really wine, is it?”
The customs agent broke the facade, started laughing, and struck a deal: “Get rid of two, keep the rest.”
Glühwein, or mulled wine, is a German staple for Christmas Markets and après-ski. The recipe varies from region to region, but two factors remain uniform throughout the country:
- Only crappy leftover wine is used
- It’s hot
What does this mean for you? It means as long as you warm up some crappy red wine and add a few spices, fruits, and sugar . . . you have Glühwein!
Recipe (Time: 30 mins)*
*this recipe is recommended — feel free to change it up to your taste and/or spice availability
- 1 bottle of cheap, dry red wine (Merlot or Zinfandel work the best)
- 8-12 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange
- 1 shot orange liquor
- 2 whole star anise
- ⅓ -½ cup maple syrup (depending on taste)
- 1 shot whiskey or rum (optional)
Step 1: Cut the orange into slices.
Step 2: Add all the ingredients to a stainless steel pot. Simmer on low to medium (don’t burn the wine!) for 15-20 mins.
Step 3: Skim out spices. Serve in a ceramic cup.
Step 4: Enjoy on a snowy trail with your fellow wine hikers.
Written by Alessandra Coote
Davis / Weber County Ambassador