Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Staff Holiday Recipes - Gluhwein

Alison Donnelly has been with the library for ten years. She is the Children's Librarian and an all around awesome person. Whether you need a warm drink because it's cold outside or because Uncle Earl won't stop yammering about politics, Alison has the perfect recipe for a classic holiday favorite.


This spicy and warming drink has roots in Germany and Eastern Europe and is commonly found at Christmas markets throughout Europe. It tastes just as good when prepared in Collinsville, though.

To 4 litres of red wine you need:

  • Sugar (amount proportional to quality of red wine; the worse the wine, the more sugar you need, add it to taste, but start with about ½ a cup) 
  • 6 - 8 Cinnamon sticks 
  • Whole cloves 
  • 2 Oranges 
  • Whole allspice 
  • 2 cups of orange juice 
  • ½ cup pineapple juice 
  • ½ cup ginger ale 

  • Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat. Do not let the wine come to a boil. 
  • I tend to cut the oranges into slices and then put about 4 cloves into each slice, then put them in with the wine. 
  • Break the cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as 10 of the whole all spice. 
  • Add in the 2 cups of orange juice, ginger ale, and pineapple juice. 
  • Add in sugar and stir. 
  • Stir on and off for about 30 mins to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed. 
  • Let it cook for about 30 mins more (again, not letting it boil). 
  • Enjoy! If you have patience, letting the wine sit overnight will allow the spices to fully infuse, giving an amazingly festive taste. 
Variation: Any berry type fruits (e.g. raspberries, cranberries) can be added for flavour. Triple sec liqueur or brandy can also be added if you want more of a kick in your cup.


For more seasonal recipes check out one of our holiday cookbooks. The library has a great selection of holiday recipe books that can be found in the nonfiction section both on the main floor and children’s floor. We have a large variety of seasonal reading so also be sure to browse our holiday displays. Happy Holidays!

Posted by Alison Donnelly, Children's Librarian, and Terry Pierson, Library Clerk