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  • Writer's pictureellencdonker

THE ANSWER FOR COLD OUTDOOR GET-TOGETHERS by Barlingual Chicks Chrissy McIntyre & Katy Chapman

German Glühwein

If you’ve been fortunate enough to have been at a Christmas market in Germany (or various German-speaking countries) then you have probably tried this delicious, warm, spicy wine, which they've been drinking as far back as 1420. Glühwein (pronounced glee-vine) literally translates as “glow wine,” and that makes perfect sense since the holiday markets are outside and it is usually freezing cold. The wine acts as a kind of glowing ember to warm you up while you're outside shopping and fortifies you against the elements. With hints of orange, cinnamon, cloves and star anise, it’s perfect for the festive season.

Well, the holidays are over but we are still in a pandemic with few opportunities to see our friends. Enter Glühwein for the win. This drink, which can be prepared ahead on the stovetop and brought outside and served from a crockpot, makes a wonderful libation to have with friends by the fire pit in these cold winter months. Top it off with a little rum or amaretto and you will certainly feel the glow inside and out. We may not be able to have parties indoors yet, but with a little creativity and some help from European friends, we can have some socially distanced get-togethers to see us through the winter.

The Barlingual Chicks serve globally inspired cocktails, one sip at a time. Visit them at

German Glühwein


1/2 navel orange

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

2 cinnamon sticks

2 whole star anise

20 whole cloves

1 bottle of dry red wine


1. Peel the zest from the orange in large strips. Take care to avoid the white pith, as it is quite bitter. Juice the orange and set aside.

2. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and cook until the sugar dissolves.

3. Reduce the heat and add the orange zest, juice and all the spices. Let that simmer until you can smell the syrup.

4. Add the wine and drop the temperature to its lowest setting. You don’t want to boil off the alcohol, so let the whole mixture cook at barely a simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. When ready, strain out the spices and zest. At this point, it can be put into a crockpot and kept warm for your guests.

6. Serve in glasses or mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange zest.

7. If you want to add a splash of rum, bourbon or amaretto, feel free.

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