Got glow wine?
'Tis the season for Glühwein, pronounced "glue-vine," the beverage of choice at Christmas markets. This spiced, mulled wine is usually served burn-your-tongue hot in festive mugs bearing the name and year of the fest. You will pay a pfand, a deposit of 1 to 4 euros, which you'll receive back when you return the glass. Usually, the same mug can be refilled and returned at any vendor within the market. Many tourists choose to keep the mugs as souvenirs.
The term Glühwein means “glow wine,” perhaps because your cheeks will be rosy and you'll feel warm all over after a couple, especially if you go for the liquor-spiked versions. It is easy to drink too much of the tasty beverage, so have a plan for getting home and drink water in between mugs of wine.
If you are not drinking, look for Kinderpunsch, which has a similar flavor but is alcohol-free. If traveling to markets in France, the beverage is called vin chaud (hot wine). And beware, the mulled wine purchased at markets in Norway and Sweden is actually alcohol free due to open-container and strict alcohol laws — still tasty but lacking the "glow."
When you're all out of energy for traveling and dealing with crowds, purchase prepared Glühwein at your local German grocery store to heat on the stovetop and have at home. You can also make your own with this easy recipe; you'll need your favorite bottle of wine (red or white), sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks and an orange.
And, Glühwein makes a great homemade gift! Assemble a mulled wine kit using the recipe and printable PDF at Buzzfeed.com. You'll need a clean glass jar and lid, printed directions (available at Buzzfeed), spices listed on the recipe card, red wine and an orange. Add the dry spices to the jar, and place all of the items in a gift bag. Done!