Gluehwein: a German Winter Tradition

It’s cold outside! Warm-up with a yummy beverage this season that is sure to invoke holiday cheer! Hot cocoa and apple cider…step aside. How about a Hermann tradition? Gluehwein, anyone?

Gluehwein is a tasty German specialty. This spiced, mulled wine is the signature drink at Christmas markets across Germany. It is so popular, in fact, that stands exclusively selling this Gluehwein pop up all over, catering to the demand. In a town with such rich German heritage, it is no surprise that local Hermann businesses embrace the tradition, as well.  

Not only is this warm wine custom a perfect harmony between fruit and spices, but it is also generally enjoyed with some fun holiday ritual. The perfect sip is typically served from an insulated stemless glass or even a gaudy holiday mug. It is not a must that you drink the beverage outside of your home, but it is certainly recommended to do as the Germans do and take to the back porch with your cup. There’s something about pairing the spices and warm wine with the heightened senses you develop out on a brisk day. Check out the events happening in Hermann this weekend, likely you’ll find an excellent reason to walk about town.

Now that you have been properly introduced to this cool-weather treat, make sure to sample delicious Gluehwein when it is offered to you while window-shopping, wine-tasting or dining in Hermann. Feeling ready for a glass right now, or want to share Gluehwein with loved ones this winter? Stop in at an area winery and ask their recommendation of the best bottles to use for this unique drink, then follow the instructions below. Remember, every vintage will lend a slightly different interpretation, so if you already have Hermann favorites, feel free to experiment! 

1-gallon of your favorite Hermann red wine

8 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

12 whole cloves

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 orange, sliced into rounds


  1. Pour the wine into a large pot and set over medium heat. Let it warm up until steam rises from the surface. But don’t allow it to boil. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon juice and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Float the orange slices on the surface. Warm over medium heat for another 5 minutes, being careful not to let it come to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Pour through a colander to remove the oranges and spices. Serve hot, or refrigerate and reheat gently just before serving. Enjoyed best in mugs.

German mulled wine is an essential treat for wine lovers when there’s a chill in the air. The combination of warming libation, festive spices and citrus notes will be a new favorite that you’ll come to expect each holiday season. Prost, Hermann!