You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 : 5:58 a.m.

Garden Faerie: Glühwein warms the gardener

By Monica Milla


You can get a good mug of Glühwein (mulled red wine) at the Chicago Christmas market, or make it at home following my easy recipe.

Monica Milla | Contributor

Glühwein is a hot, spiced red wine enjoyed around the holiday season and throughout the winter to warm up. It's especially popular at Christmas markets throughout Germany and Austria, but you don't have to go that far to enjoy a nice warm mug. Just follow my simple recipe instead!

"Glüh" is German for "glow" and the idea is that after being outside (skiing, hiking, building a snowman) for a while, it will make you glow with warmth.

Swedes call the same thing Glögg, and I'm sure there are many other variations.

I'm not a wine drinker, but I do like this recipe. And unlike most of my gardening friends, who are all great cooks as well, I'm a bit of a bachelor in that regard. Especially when you look in my fridge. But don't worry, I can guarantee this recipe is good. I have served it many times and people always enjoy it.

Monica's Glühwein
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange
12 whole cloves
1 bottle (750 ml) red wine (I use Trader Joe's merlot)

This recipe can be made entirely in one large pot, or started in a small pot or large pan and then finished in a crockpot. (Knowing my bachelor ways, you'll know I use a crockpot!)

1. In the large pot or pan, combine the water and sugar, and stir thoroughly. Add the cinnamon stick.

2. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer while completing the next step.

3. Cut the orange in half, and squeeze the juice into the simmering sugar water. Push six cloves into each half of the orange rinds. Place the rinds face down into the pot or pan, so the side with the cloves touches the pan.

4. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the liquid is thick and syrupy.

5. The wine gets added now. If you've made your mixture in a big pot, add the wine into the pot. If you are moving to a crockpot, pour the sugar water mixture into the crockpot, then add the wine, and then place the orange rinds in the crockpot upside down so the cloves touch the bottom of the crockpot.

6. If using the big pot, heat on low until steaming, but not simmering. If using a crockpot, cover it and set it to low and leave it sit a few hours. The longer it's heated, the richer the flavors. Taste now and then for flavor to determine when it's "done."

7. Remove orange peels and serve hot into mugs or cups. If you like, you can strain the Glühwein through a tight sieve to catch any tiny bits or orange that may have come off in the process, but I prefer the texture as is, which is still plenty smooth.

This recipe makes six four-ounce servings. Because I tend to make Glühwein for parties, I tend to double or triple the amounts.

Prost! (That's "Cheers!" in German.)

Monica Milla, the Garden Faerie, is a master gardener volunteer, garden speaker, garden coach and author of "Fun with Winter Seed Sowing."



Tue, Jan 4, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

I can't believe I forgot to go try this at the market this year. Maybe I'll make some of my own. Thanks for the recipe.