AMA Waterways shares its recipe for a traditional European holiday drink. Special occasions require a special beverage, and during the cold days of December, a glass of hot mulled wine is just the thing. Festive in both color and fragrance, glühwein is a Christmas tradition dating back centuries. Christmas markets fill the ancient village squares throughout Europe with stalls selling holiday baked goods, crafts, and fragrant glühwein as they have for hundreds of years. Different variations of mulled wine recipes can be found depending on the region. For example, in Hungary, it is forralt; in France, it’s vin chaud; in Scandinavian countries it is Glögg, and in Germany and Austria, it is called glühwein


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 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


  1. In a medium-sized stock pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the ingredients, except for the honey. Stir to combine.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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