I·ATE: Glühwein, grzaniec and glögg, some drinks for Christmas time

November 26, 2016 10:00 am

During Christmas time there are many culinary specialities prepared only for this period. This is the case of some particular food and beverages and every country has its own specialities. This time we want to introduce you to a traditional Christmas drink called glühwein in Germany, grzaniec in Poland and glögg in Sweden. Have you tasted them?


Glühwein (translated as “glow-wine”, has its origin on the hot irons once used for mulling) and it is a well-known hot beverage in Germany and other German speaking countries such as Austria, a part of Switzerland and also the French region of Alsace. It is usually prepared with ingredients such as red wine (blueberry, cherry or grape wine), cinnamon sticks, cloves, star aniseed, citrus, sugar and sometimes also some vanilla pods. There are variants with rum or even other kind of liquor and even the white wine version of the Glühwein which is popular too.


There is also another well-known variant of glühwein in Germany called Feuerzangenbowle. The recipe is always the same but the way you drink it is different because a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and allowed to drip into the wine.

There are a number of ways to survive the winter in Poland and one of them is to drink some Grzaniec Galicyjski or grzane piwo during these cold days. Grzaniec Galicyjski refers to Polish mulled wine which is an aromatic blend of red wine, sugar, and spices while grzane piwo is essentially a hot pint spiced with ginger syrup, clove, cinnamon and other kind of mulling spices. The first one, Grzaniec galicyjski, comes from the region of Galicia, a historical and geographic region in Central-Eastern Europe (not the one in Spain). Grzaniec Galicyjski has to be warmed between 60 and 70 degrees and it is served also with an aromatic orange slice. The picture below presents a traditional Grzaniec Galicyjski and a tasty grzane piwo.


In Sweden you can find glögg, a spiced red wine enriched with some raisins and almonds (which are also eaten), berries, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, sugar and some other spices. In some versions you can even find bourbon and rum and orange peel as the Polish grzaniec. It is spelled gløgg in Norwegian and Danish, glögg in Swedish and Icelandic and glögi in Finnish and Estonian. Czechs just call it svařené víno, Hungarians drink forralt bor, Serbs prepare kuvano vino, Romanians call it vin fiert, Croatians say kuhano vino, in Latvia they drink karstvīns (literally translated as “hot wine”) and in France it is known as vin chaud and/or vin brulé. Bulgarians call it греяно вино (greyano vino) and it consists of red wine, honey and peppercorn. It sometimes have also apples and/or citrus fruits, such as lemon or oranges.

grzaniec galicyjski

How about your country? Do you drink mulled wine? How it is called and how do you prepare it? We wait for your comments enjoying a nice cup of glühwein. Cheers!

Written by Olga Jeczmyk: Translator-Interpreter, Social Media and Content Manager as well as Communication and Terminology Trainee. Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament in Luxembourg.


  • In Your Pocket (2016) Hot beer? Available at: http://bit.ly/2gt6SE1 (Accessed: 25 November 2016).
  • Raichlen, S. (1448) Swedish Mulled wine (Glogg) recipe. Available at: http://nyti.ms/2ff9GqW (Accessed: 25 November 2016).
  • Recipe, G. (2016) Swedish Glogg recipe. Available at: http://bit.ly/2gb1HIk (Accessed: 25 November 2016).
  • Wikipedia (2016) ‘Mulled wine’, in Wikipedia. Available at: http://bit.ly/2gGQpyT (Accessed: 25 November 2016).


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