Traditional Gluehwein

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This fabulous slow cooker Traditional Gluehwein is the perfect mulled wine to serve at any holiday party! So easy – just toss everything into the crock pot and let it stew together and make your house smell fantastic!

crock pot with sliced oranges, peppercorns, and cardamon and juice

When my husband and I were traveling through Krakow a few years ago, we came across a small market just off the main square that was bustling with delicious, artisan food stalls with the most amazing local fares.

Everything was delicious – festive, traditional, rich, and so beautifully prepared.

Everyone who served it was cheery, and the night was magical.

sausages, pierogies, and mulled wine!

Our favorite part of the fair, of course, was the traditional Grzaniec (Polish mulled wine).

It was rich and spicy, with fruity tartness and a seductive cardamon spice.

It was also— um— effective at keeping us warm on a very chilly night in lesser Poland!

It is strong and sweet, and everything you want in a delicious drink.

crock pot with sliced oranges, peppercorns, and cardamon and juice


When was mulled wine invented?

Mulled wine was first imbibed by the Romans in the 2nd Century AD. Roman soldiers heated wine during the winter to stay warm.

As the Romans conquered much of Europe, their love for mulled wine spread throughout the region.

Today, this wintery treat is a festive holiday drink that you can find all overe Europe in Christmas markets, but especially in Germany, Poland, Austria, and Hungary. 

Gluehwein is sweet, but not too sweet, spicy, alcoholic, and addictive – I could casually sip a mug of spiced wine all night long while cuddled up by a fire with a good book. 

It’s also perfect for Christmas party drinks – make up a big batch on the stove or in a slow cooker and leave out mugs for guests to pour themselves some to warm up and sip! 

When my husband decided we should make our own mulled wine, I was thrilled!

This version is delicious, incredibly easy (just toss in the red wine, brandy and spices and set the slow cooker) – and it is perfect for a holiday party.

Packed with the flavors of oranges, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom, this recipe will keep you warm all night long!

I love to sip it all night dreaming that someday I’ll get to drink it again while strolling through a snowy Krakow Christmas market, and enjoying all those amazing foods again soon!

Can you keep mulled wine?

Left over portions (if you have any) can be kept in the fridge for a few days, and reheated at a simmer before serving (for about 20 mintues).

crock pot with sliced oranges, peppercorns, and cardamon and juice


More of My Favorite Christmas Ideas: 

If you’re looking for deliciously festive food and drink ideas, or see some of my travels to Christmas Markets in Europe that inspired this Gluehwein recipe, please click through to see each post: 

Red Wine Granita

Top Ten Reasons To Visit a Christmas Market

Elderflower Spiced Apple Cider – Spiked and Non Alcoholic Recipes

Epic Christmas Market Trip – Paris, Reims, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Prague, Heidelberg, Michaelstadt

27 Festive Christmas Cocktails

Cranberry Apple Christmas Sangria and Virgin Sangria

christmas market waiting for drinks

Traditional Gluehwein Recipe

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crock pot with sliced oranges, peppercorns, and cardamon and juice

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A bowl of fruit and nuts served alongside a spiced hot wine recipe.

Traditional Gluehwein

Delicious traditional gluehwein, a mulled red wine that is perfect for Christmas parties!
Course Drinks
Cuisine German
Keyword Gluehwein, hot spiced wine, mulled wine, slow cooker mulled wine
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 179kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 2 medium lemons
  • 2 medium oranges or limes
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 750- milliliter bottles dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Beaujolais Nouveau
  • ½ cup brandy
  • Cheesecloth
  • Butcher’s twine


  • Slice fruit into thin rounds
  • Add herbs into cheesecloth, tie off to make a small sachet.
  • Add all ingredients into slow cooker, set to low.
  • Let simmer at least one hour until serving.
  • If flavor becomes bitter, remove herbs and fruit with peels from slow cooker!



Serving: 1g | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Sodium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. WendyLady says:

    We just got back from Prague and Dresden – loved the Christmas Markets and mulled wine! Can’t wait to try your recipe!