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Aspen Gluhwein Holiday Tradition

The tree is up, the lights are out on houses in the neighborhood and snow is in the forecast for the holiday season.

I love this time of year and the anticipation of the coming holidays. Unwrapping ornaments for the tree is a wonderful trip down memory lane for me. I always look forward to rediscovering each of the handmade treasures and souvenirs from all of my travel adventures, and family mementos that I’ve accumulated over the years. They grow more and more meaningful to me as each year passes.

Glühwein: a spicy, slightly sweet, red wine, is a tradition in Swiss and German households during the holidays, and is a favorite treat in the holiday markets throughout Germany and Switzerland. Its aroma fills the cold air as it simmers away in the specialty booths that fill the marketplaces. That, and the aroma of sausages grilling and fresh nuts roasting, is an unforgettable experience.

Glühwein is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star aniseed, citrus, sugar and at times – vanilla pods. It is sometimes drunk “mit Schuss” (or with a shot), which means that rum or some other liquor has been added to the wine.

Another popular variant of Glühwein in Germany is the Feuerzangenbowle. It shares the same recipe, but for this drink a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and allowed to slowly drip into the wine. Glühwein is one of my personal holiday favorites and a treasured new addition to our menu at Shadow Mountain Lounge. We hope you enjoy it!


Tobias Burkhalter
Executive Sous Chef

Glühwein Ingredients
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 10 ea Cloves, whole
  • 8 ea allspice, whole
  • 1 ea star anise pods
  • 1 1/2 bottles of Cabernet red wine
  • 8 Juniper Berries
Glühwein Directions:

Combine Water, orange juice, Sugar, cinnamon stick, allspice and star anise and bring to a boil and simmer.

Cut the orange and in half, squeeze juice into simmering liquid.

Stick the cloves into the orange half and place into simmering liquid.

Cut lemon in half squeeze the juice into the simmering liquid and place the lemon into the liquid.

Simmer and reduce 1/3 to a half.

Add red wine and heat until just below simmering, remove lemon and oranges.

Serve hot in a glass mug that has been pre heated to avoid breaking.

Recipe courtesy of Tobias Burkhalter, Executive Sous Chef
The St. Regis Aspen Resort

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