Kick-ass Gluhwein

I recently held a “Xmas in July” party.

And this is a great party to have in the Southern Hemisphere, since our Christmas is usually summer, thus hot, and the traditional or comfort food usually associated with Xmas, is just uncomfortable to eat, besides sweating from the heat with such cooking.

So come July, there’s a trend to have a “Xmas” party in July.  Wonderful in our winter, and the drink to have is gluhwein  aka mulled red wine.

Now there are the usual recipes, but this has a bit of a twist with some of the additional ingredients, just yummy.

My party of 18 people, finished 8 bottles equivalent of this gluhwein, not to mention the remaining alcohol consumed! Hic…


  • 3 bottles red wine (not pinotage, since this has a tendency to turn bitter when cooked)
  • 200g sugar
  • 6 cloves
  • stick cinnamon
  • 2 lemon zests and juice
  • 2 limes juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 star anise


  1. In a saucepan or pot (needs to be big enough to hold all the wine), dissolve sugar with a 1/2  a bottle of red wine, and bring to boil.
  2. Once at boil, add the rest of the ingredients, except for the remaining alcohol.
  3. Drop the temperature to just be simmering and add the remaining wine.  Don’t allow to boil, since the alcohol will evaporate.
  4. Serve at the temperature you prefer your mulled wine to be served.  Serve either in mugs or wine glasses that can withstand high temperatures!  And before serving, make sure the mulled wine is sieved either through a small sieve or tea strainer.

    TIP: I continued adding my other bottles (8 in total) to the mixture, as it was getting lower, so the pot was never “empty”, and I never added more ingredient besides the wine – but if you prefer your mulled wine sweet, then I suggest adding more sugar & lemon/lime juice, if you keep topping up the pot – add to taste!)


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