Christmas in Europe is taken very seriously. Every country competes with the other in putting up a grand show come December, or sometimes as early as November. Whatever mood Christmas intends to grace, the European Christmas markets do it months earlier. Every market has its own distinct blend of colours and aromas and auras. One of the best things about these vibrant markets is the Gluhwein or Mulled wine. Gluwein, translating into Glowing Wine, is one of the most unforgettable aspects of Christmas Markets of Europe.
Available in grocery stores all over the world, this beaut of a drink is more of a feeling than a beverage. Hence all the Christmas vibes attached to it will be better applied when consumed in that set-up. That one warm mug in between gloves as you walk around the markets in falling ice lifts the moods many shades lighter.
Let me brief you upon the ingredients that go into the making of this Christmas drink. Red wine or white wine made from cherries and blueberries are warmed up in a concoction of floating apples, oranges and lemon. Most importantly spices like cinnamon sticks and star anise are added to it. As if this wasn’t enough, a dash of romantic flavours like sugar and vanilla are added sparingly. Beautiful is it not?
Now let me tell you where to find ’em!
Being Germany’s coronated prince of Christmas markets comes with a lot of charm. Everything about the place is postcard-lit. Gluwein here must obviously celebrate those standards. In each of the markets mentioned below, you pay extra euros that you could later return after your strolling is done and get your money back. Some tourists are thoroughly enamoured by these intricate little mugs and go on collecting them. Tradition dictates them to start with Nuremberg!
Also read: The glorious Christmas markets of Europe
Germany, a land full of curious traditions, has one-upped you again. Look at that peculiar apparatus. That’s mulled wine served with a cone of fiery sugar on top. Dresden’s Striezelmarkt serves generous mugs of this magical drink and it warms its way straight up to your heart. The Wackerbarths Weiß & Heiß, a five-century-old Gluhwein recipe is a must-try too.
Vienna’s beautiful snowy Christmases are no strangers to us. White has splashed everything and red dots the scene with the appearance of Christmas Markets throughout the city, at least 20 of them. Vienna’s Rathausplatz Christmas Market set-up in front of the Neo-Gothic city hall is by-far one of the most famous and the most elaborate one. that is where the best gluhwein in Europe is sold.
Budapest is the trendy, hip child of Central Europe and is the fashion capital of the region. Be it carnivals, pop-ups or Chrismas Markets, food and drink is the soul-centre of the event. With a name like this, do you think anything could go wrong with the Gluhwein in the Christmas markets? Among the wafting smells of kürtőskalács, kolaches, cheesecakes, spiced biscuits, cinnamon fruit competes and a hundred other heart-warming foods, mulled wine reserves it’s spot firmly. Despite all the yummy things that could glide into your tummy, this one is special because you have something warm to hold on to while shopping and something mildly alcohol-y to wash it all down!
Situated in France’s beautiful wine region, Alsace, this place has oodles of German influences. The Christmas Markets in Colmar, hence are cute little weaves of local artisans. Alsatian wines, Foie Grass, brandies and locally produced beers are sold in the markets. Merry-go-rounds and ferry wheels will keep your kids busy while you relax with a warm mug of Gluhwein.
Also read: What do in Paris during Christmas
How can the North Pole not house a special Christmas Market and how can that Christmas Market not have a snug barrel of Gluhwein in it? Christmas+food+wine+warm folks+Northern lights. Need I say more?