Christmas in Austria means one thing: Glühwein. This tasty mulled wine is the festive drink of choice in Innsbruck—and it’s easy to see why. It’s sweet, it’s yummy and it’s just what you need on a cold and frosty evening.

Starting from mid November, you will usually see groups of Innsbruckers huddled around in the street with warming mugs of Glühwein in their hands. Unfortunately this year, the current coronavirus restrictions have delayed the start of the outdoor Glühwein season. But don’t despair! We have a delicious Glühwein recipe for you so you can curl up on your sofa at home with a steaming mug of mulled wine. Prost!

There’s nothing like a Glühwein with friends on a dark winter’s evening. If only we could this year too! © Innsbruck Tourismus / Christof Lackner


  • 1 litre of red wine (the drier the better)
  • 50 ml rum
  • 2 oranges, cut into slices
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 7 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise (you should find this in the spice section in big supermarkets)
  • 50 g brown sugar (or more if you like it sweet)


mmmMMMMmmm…. smell the aroma! © Jens Mahnke / Pexels

How To Make Glühwein

Put all the ingredients except the rum and the sugar in a pan over a low heat.

Be patient and allow the wine to slowly heat up. Don’t let it boil, as this makes the alcohol evaporate.

Add the rum and sugar and let them dissolve into the wine.

Give everything a final stir and ladle it into mugs.

Enjoy the Christmas feels!


Christmas jumper not obligatory © Treedeo Footage / Pexels

Want To Spice Things Up?

If you’re feeling adventurous (or just not a red wine fan), there’s plenty of variations on the traditional Glühwein recipe. How about one of these?

White Glühwein: Replace the red wine with white wine for a milder taste. Add some lemon slices to the pan for an extra kick.

Kinderpunsch: This alcohol-free version is intended for children, but can be enjoyed by anyone who doesn’t feel like drinking alcohol (or who wants to avoid a hangover the next morning). Replace the red wine with grape juice, apple juice or a combination of both!

Glühwein “mit Schuss”: A “Schuss“ is the German word for a shot of alcohol. As if the wine and rum weren’t enough, many Austrians like to add an extra shot to their mug for added Glühwein goodness. Amaretto, whisky and brandy all work well.


Featured image: © Hannah Pemberton / Unsplash