The holidays are for ‘family-time’ along with gluttonous eating and accepted excessive drinking; the latter helping us get through the former. Besides making passive-aggressive family discussion humorous, booze wards off the evil cold that chills me to the bone this time of year. I don’t particularly care for any temperature below 50 degrees, so my salvation every winter has been Glühwein to thaw my insides.

Glühwein was brought to my attention by my cohort-in-crime Queen Steen (she holds a small island kingdom off the coast of Denmark).  She spent a year in Germany and brought back with her this delightfully punchy concoction made of red wine, dark rum and various fruit juices. It is very similar to mulled wine, spices are added sometimes, and there are several variations which means its easy to make it your own without causing a ruckus.

Sara from Texas enjoying some hot gluhwein

Traditionally, hot Glühwein (pronounced ‘glue-vine’) is served during the holidays in Germany’s winter markets called Weihnachtsmarkt just as hot apple cider is sold at holiday markets in the States. I can’t get through a winter without a steamin’ cup of the stuff. It keeps Sara from becoming loonier than she already is. And prevents her from speaking in third person…we better get her some Glühwein.

Glühwein Recipe

1 1/3 c (300ml) dark rum (spiced is a bonus)
1 1/3 c (300ml) dry red wine
2 1/4 c (500ml) orange juice
2 1/4 c (500ml) fruit juice (cranberry works great, anything non-citrusy)

For the glühwein

Combine all in a soup pot. Gently warm on medium heat until steam begins to rise off the Glühwein and it is just hot. DO NOT BOIL, simmer or cook any longer than necessary! We don’t want any of that tasty alcohol content to cook off, now do we.

And trust me on this. I got distracted once and overheated it leaving nothing but alcohol-free juice. Worst. Headache. Ever.


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