This recipe appears along with the 50+ authentic German recipes in my cookbook, A Travel for Taste: Germany. Click here to buy it from Amazon. Available in print and Kindle versions.
I had my first cup of Glühwein years ago at the Nuremberg Christmas market on the coldest day I can remember with the chestnut vendor crying, “Heiße Maroni!” (“Roasted chestnuts!”). There is something about a steaming cup of this wine on a cold winter’s day that warms you more than the temperature or the alcohol of the wine really should.
At the Christmas markets, you can buy the commemorative cup the Glühwein comes in. You are charged a deposit, or Pfand, as part of the price, usually one or two Euros. If you want to keep the cup, feel free. If you want your deposit back, return your empty cup under the sign that says Pfandrückgabe just like in the Biergarten.
During the holiday season, crowds of locals gather at the Christmas markets in Germany in the evenings after work to enjoy a hot drink with friends while bundled up and standing at the tall tables near the Glühwein stand. They aren’t there to shop; rather, they just seem to enjoy the early darkness, the holiday lights of the market and the winter weather with friends. It’s a wonderful sight and an even more wonderful thing to do.