If you have never visited Europe during the holiday season, put it on your bucket list. Traditionally, during the four weeks of Advent, many European villages and cities will have Christmas markets, or Christkindlmarkets, erected in their town squares. The markets are filled with vendors selling ornaments, local fresh food, hand-made crafts, and a holiday favorite, Glühwein.
Whenever one gets cold at a Christkindlmärkte in Germany, he or she will cozy up to the Glühwein stand and order some hot, mulled wine served in a festive mug. Each village has a different mug custom-designed each year, making them perfect souvenirs. It is super easy to make your own Glühwein and its aroma will become a new Holiday tradition in your home.
- 2 medium lemons
- 2 medium oranges
- 10 whole cloves
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 2 (750-milliliter) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Beaujolais Nouveau
- 1/2 cup brandy
- cheese cloth
- butcher’s twine
Using a peeler, remove the zest from the lemon and oranges. Make sure you do not have any of the white pith on the zest. Place the zest in a large sauce pan. Juice the lemons and oranges and put this in the pan as well. Put the cloves and cardamom in a piece of cheese cloth and tie with some butcher’s twine and place in the pot.
Add the sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks, place the pan over high heat, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by about one-third, about 20 minutes.
Add the red wine and brandy, stir to combine, and bring just to a simmer (don’t let it boil). Remove from heat, and remove and discard the spice bundle before serving.
Keep the Glühwein on low or place in a slow cooker during your holiday party.