Glühwein recipe for a winter’s evening

Glühwein is one of our favourite drinks for a sociable, chilly evening, and tastes especially good when sitting outside around a fire, as we did tonight. With the winter solstice fast approaching, and the evenings long and cold, we’ve taken to making our Glühwein in an enamel kettle, so it can sit keeping happily warm next to the fire.


After some experimentation, we have typed up our current favourite version of this traditional recipe.


2 clementines
1 lemon
1 lime
150g sugar
6 whole cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
3 bay leaves (fresh if possible, but dried is okay)
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
2 star anise
2 bottles of Chianti or other Italian red wine. If you are using South African wines, choose something fruity such as a Merlot or Chiraz.


  1. Peel large sections of the peel from your clementines, lemon and lime – we just use a potato peeler for this!
  2. Put the sugar and peels in a large saucepan, squeeze in the clementine juice, then put it all over a medium heat.
  3. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and halved vanilla pod, then stir in enough wine to just cover the sugar.
  4. Let this mixture simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the wine, then bring to the boil for about 5 minutes until you have a lovely, thick syrup. This creates a delicious flavour base by infusing the sugar and spices without burning all the alcohol off.
  5. Turn the heat to low, add the star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat until perfectly warm, then serve and enjoy 🙂



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