Instructions for how to make the Gluhwein recipe from Epcot Festival of the Holidays:
It doesn’t matter what you call it – Gluhwein, mulled wine, spiced wine – this has quickly become one of my favorite drinks during the holiday season. It’s full of flavor, it keeps me warm in these Pennsylvania winters, and it’s easy to make. If you haven’t had it before, Gluhwein is pretty straight forward. It’s a red wine that’s warmed up and simmered with spices such as cloves, anise, and cinnamon.
As you might be able to tell from the name, it’s a popular drink in Germany – Gluhwein literally translates to “glow wine” because it gives you that inner warmth and glow when you drink it during the cold season. If you’ve seen pictures of those lovely Christmas markets in Germany, they often serve Gluhwein there. I actually tried it when I was in Austria and it was a chilly day. It warmed me right up and was so good. While you may not have many chilly days in Florida, Disney World is still serving up some of that Gluhwein at the Germany booth during the Festival of the Holidays!
Epcot almost always has a festival going these days, and I love the Festival of the Holidays because I’m always filled with holiday spirit this time of year. I also really enjoy learning about Christmas and holiday traditions in other countries – especially food and drink! So a nice spiced wine is perfect for a season, and easy to make at home.
Before we get on to the Gluhwein recipe from Epcot, here’s some answers to some common questions you might have.
Which wine is best for Gluhwein?
Any dry red wine works well for Gluhwein, and you don’t need to get anything particularly fancy or expensive since you’re adding spices and flavor to it. In Epcot they use a Cabernet Sauvignon. It would also work well with a Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, or a Syrah. In Germany they traditionally use a red wine called Dornfelder, but that’s may be a little more difficult to find depending on where you are.
How alcoholic is Gluhwein?
This depends on what type of wine you use and its alcohol content. You want to be careful not to boil the Gluhwein because you could boil the alcohol out. If you wanted to up the alcohol content a little you can add a bit of brandy, cognac, or mix on some port wine. If you’re looking to make a non-alcoholic version, you could experiment with various fruit juices such as cranberry juice, grape juice, or pomegranate juice.
Can you make Gluhwein in the slow cooker?
Sure! Make it the same way you would on the stovetop. Just keep the slow cooker on low and make sure your settings don’t boil any of the wine.
How do you serve Gluhwein?
It’s very easy – just use a ladle or anything to easily get the Gluhwein out of the pot and into a glass, just like you would a bowl of punch! If you’re looking for aesthetics, Gluhwein is often served in clear glass mugs. You can garnish it with a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick.
Tip for this Gluhwein recipe from Epcot:
- Keep an eye on the pot while it’s simmering – make sure the wine doesn’t actually boil! This will boil out the flavor and alcohol.
- Use whole spices, not ground ones. Ground spices won’t dissolve into the drink and you don’t want any gritty wine!
- If you don’t finish it all at the time you make it, you can reheat this recipe. Just put it back into a pot on the stove and heat on low until it warms up again.
- You can experiment with the spices and change the recipe based on your preferences – the ones I’m sharing here are the ones they use at Epcot, but Gluhwein is often made with all sorts of variations. Some things you could potentially try might be cardamom, vanilla pod, ginger, allspice, or subbing out the sugar with honey or maple syrup.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 orange, sliced
- Combine all ingredients into a pot on a stove over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow drink to continue to steep for 30 minutes.
- Add more sugar to taste, garnish glasses if desired, and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 0g
Would you want to try this Gluhwein recipe from Epcot? Are you a fan of spiced wine?