This German Mulled White Wine recipe is spicy, citrusy and smells divine. It’s a traditional mulled wine recipe that’s simmered on the stove or in a slow cooker that I got from a friend while she was living in Germany. Worth it.
I’m becoming one of those annoying people. I fixate on recipes until I have them in my greedy little hands, and will harass you until I get it. An example, this white mulled wine recipe. If I eat or drink something incredible at your house, there is a better than good chance I’m going to ask you for the recipe and share it here. (You’ve been warned.)
I recently visited my sweet friend Lynn. When we got there, you were immediately hit in the face with the most incredible smell. Spicy and citrusy – the whole house smelled like a hug. I found out that it was her famous mulled wine. One sip in, a new obsession of mine began and it has been mulled wine all the time since.
You guys, I borderline stalked her for this recipe. I’m not proud. And I am so thankful that she still talks to me after I harassed her so much. They lived in Germany for a few years and she got this recipe from a restaurant there. And then weirdly, we moved to Germany and I got to drink it many times at the many markets we went to.
What is Gluhwein?
Gluhwein is a spiced wine made by simmering wine with mulling spices and sometimes raisins. It usually feature red wine, but I like the white wine approach.
I normally would never have even taken a sip. I stay away from really sweet drinks (because hangover), but this is not too sweet. It is a little sweet, but not cloying, and has a lot of bright notes from the citrus. As you can tell she has played with the recipe to get it just right.
Simply gather together an orange, whole cloves, white wine, sugar, orange juice, lemon, cinnamon sticks, whole allspice and cardamom pods.
Make sure to have lemon slices, cinnamon sticks and fresh nutmeg for serving.
White Wine. When you are picking a wine for this mulled wine recipe, choose something that is dry and not sweet. I used Chateau St. Michelle and Zum Riesling. I would choose wines from Eastern Europe, and not American or New Zealand because those Rieslings tend to be really sweet.
Whole Spices. Whole spices provide a world of difference. It also makes it easy to scoop them out when you want to store leftovers. Ground spices would be too overpowering and bitter.
How to Make // The Steps
The most difficult part of this recipe is studding the orange with cloves. Once that’s done, all it takes is a gentle simmer on the stove or in a slow cooker.
- Stud the orange with cloves. Slice in half.
- Add wine, sugar and orange juice to a Dutch oven, large pot, or slow cooker.
- Add studded orange, lemon and spices.
- Simmer on very low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. If using a slow cooker, set on low for 2 hours.
What Makes This German Mulled White Wine So Good?
Let me assure you, this German mulled wine is seriously addicting (and dangerous). I make this throughout the Fall and Winter seasons because:
- It strikes the right balance between tart, sweet and spice.
- It is super cozy and comforting for those cold winter nights.
- The cocktail easily serves a crowd at any holiday party or casual evening with friends.
Simply ladle the mulled wine into mugs and serve with lemon slices, a cinnamon stick and a grating of fresh nutmeg.
Mulled wine is a hot spicy wine. Gluhwein is the german term for it. But they might not taste necessarily the same as there are so many recipes and spice combinations to choose from. Every family has their own version.
Using a dry but rich wine with a hint of fruitiness is recommended to prepare mulled wine as you will be adding spices and fruit that will make the wine sweet. Also, don’t pick a wine that was aged in oak as this adds a sweet vanilla note to it.
Having some food with your mulled wine is always a delight. But what goes well with your drink? A cheese fondue would be a great start. You can dip croutons, pretzels, meats, and much more. A charcuterie board is also great when paired with German mulled white wine. It’s an assortment of fruits, nuts, meats, crackers served on a board to give it a rustic feel.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers //
I make a half batch when I make it (I’m on batch number 3), because it makes a lot. 6 liters of wine is no joke.
If I have any leftover, which I almost always do, I strain out the citrus and spices so that it doesn’t get bitter. Then, I keep it in a pitcher in the fridge and pour out a mug.
To reheat it gently, simply heat in 30-second increments in the microwave or over low heat on the stove. This is so the alcohol doesn’t cookout.
I was sipping on a mug while I was writing this post. It is so warming (my house is freezing all the time) and it is a nice little cool weather ritual.
More Holiday Cocktail Recipes //
Originally published in December 2015, updated October 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it goes! Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, too!
Thursday 22nd of December 2022
Hey Bree. Quick question: in case we don't end up finishing the whole wine, can we reheat it the next day?
Tuesday 7th of February 2023
Certainly! I just recommend straining out the citrus and spices so that it doesn’t get bitter. And reheat it gently, in 30-second increments in the microwave or over low heat on the stove. This is so the alcohol doesn’t cookout.
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