top of page
The Colosseum Rome Italy during daytime_edited.jpg


Glühwein: an essential part of winter in Europe

Brighten up the long winter nights the way Europeans have for centuries with an intensely warming and fragrant drink of hot mulled wine fortified with spices, herbs, fruit and fruit juices, hard alcohol and a sweetener like honey or sugar, or any combination of those ingredients. This favorite traditional beverage can be found throughout many of Europe’s Christmas Markets with different variations of mulled wine recipes, depending on the region. For example, in Hungary, it is forralt; in France, it’s vin chaud; and in Germany and Austria, it is called glühwein. Even though there are countless varieties, three ingredients remain common across traditions — red or white wine, baking spices such as cloves, and citrus.

Travel on one of our Danube or Rhine Christmas Markets river cruises on a multi-country tour, and you’ll be able to sample mulled wine as it is prepared by different cultures. No matter what the ingredients are between the heated wine and the spices, it’s the perfect way to warm up, both inside and out.

You can also try this festive Franconian glühwein made with Silvaner or Müller-Thurgau wine, apple juice from the region, fresh citrus fruits, and Franconian plum brandy for your holiday party.

Experience the flavors of winter and the holidays while aboard one of our Christmas Markets river cruises.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


3 cups of white wine (Silvaner or Müller-Thurgau)

1 cup apple juice

1/4 cup Franconian plum brandy (optional but recommended, as a little of the alcohol cooks out of the wine)

4 slices of orange

2 slices of lemon

1 stick of cinnamon

1 star anise

5 allspice seeds

3 whole cloves

1 pinch of aniseed

1 tsp. honey (if you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more)

Extra slices of fruit for garnish, if desired


In a medium-sized stock pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the ingredients, except for the honey. Stir to combine.

Cover and bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer, keeping the lid on, for 10 minutes. Be careful not to let it come to a boil again; if it boils too long all of the alcohol will be cooked out.

After 10 minutes, immediately remove from the heat. Strain the mixture with a fine mesh sieve; discard the aromatics. Return the mixture to the pot and taste-test. Stir in honey, tasting as you go until you reach your desired sweetness.

Ladle into desired serving glasses. Garnish with sliced fruit, cinnamon sticks, cloves, or star anise pods, if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes about 4-6 servings

20 ports of call only accessible via a river cruise

If you're looking for new cruise ports to explore – if you feel like you have seen every island in the Caribbean and stopped at every port in Mexico and the Mediterranean, these are 20 ports of call that you will never see on an ocean cruise ship, that you will only see on a river cruise.

Enter your name & email address so you can download a copy.

mockup-of-an-iphone-11-pro-over-the-crossed-legs-of-a-woman-2156-el1 (4).png
Profile photo.jpg


I am Ann Bartholomew, the owner of Simply River Cruises.

My love of travel comes from the many trips I've taken to other countries over the course of my life. I officially got my start in the travel industry 10 years ago. Since then, I've made it my life's mission to help others realize their dream vacations.

Planning a vacation yourself entails making decisions that can make or break the entire experience. After hours of researching, talking to travel partners, and planning an itinerary, you can still feel lost and confused. Your inexperience could lead you to a disheartening trip, which I want you to avoid.

With my expertise, you can bid farewell to the stress of travel planning and focus on the joy of your vacation. I will take your vision, customize the experience, and provide you with the perfect itinerary. All you have to do is make a booking and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Working in the travel industry gives me a unique understanding of your yearning to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. By giving each case my full attention and dedication, I have helped hundreds of clients fulfill their travel goals.


With over 10 years of experience, I have all the resources and premium partnerships needed to curate a unique and remarkable river cruise experience, allowing you to focus on the beauty of stunning destinations that leave you invigorated.

You want to travel, and I have the knowledge, skills, and connections to create a high-end vacation that goes above and beyond your expectations.

The Colosseum Rome Italy during daytime_edited.jpg

Get inspired...

Where to next?

bottom of page