I-ATE Food Terms of the Week: Glühwein, Grzaniec, Glögg

I-ATE Food Term of the Week_ Drinks for Christmas Time

During Weihnachten time, we can enjoy many culinary treats prepared specifically for this period. It is the case of some particular dishes and beverages, and every country has its own specialties. This time we want to introduce a traditional Christmas drink called Glühwein in Deutschland, grzaniec in Polen, und glögg in Schweden to you. Have you ever tasted them?

Der Name Glühwein (translated as “glow-wine”) was inspired by the hot irons once used for mulling. This winter beverage is well-known in Deutschland and other German speaking countries such as Österreich, a part of Schweiz, and 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 and other kinds of liquor. The white wine version of the Glühwein is popular too.

There is also another well-known type 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.

I-ATE_ Drinks for Christmas time Picture

There are a number of ways to survive the winter in Polen, and one of them is to drink some Grzaniec Galicyjski oder grzane piwo during the cold days. The name Grzaniec Galicyjski refers to Polish mulled wine which is an aromatic blend of red wine, sugar, and spices. Grzane piwo is essentially a hot pint enlivened with ginger syrup, clove, cinnamon, and other kind of mulling condiments. 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 should be warmed to between 60 and 70 degrees and served with an aromatic orange slice.

In Schweden, you can find glögg – a red wine enriched with raisins and almonds, berries, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, sugar and other spices. In some versions, you can even find bourbon, rum, and orange peel like in the Polish grzaniec. This particular drink’s name is spelled gløgg in Norwegian und Dänisch, glögg in Swedish und Icelandic, und glögi in Finnisch und Estnisch.

Do other European nations know mulled wine? Of course! Czechs just call it svařené víno, Hungarians drink forralt bor, Serbs prepare kuvano vino, Romanians call it vin fiert, Croatians say kuhano vino, in Lettland they drink karstvīns (literally translated as “hot wine”), and in Frankreich it is known as vin chaud and/or vin brulé. Bulgarians’ греяно вино (greyano vino) consists of red wine, honey, and peppercorn. It sometimes has apples and citruses such as lemons or oranges too!

How about your country? Do you drink mulled wine? How is it called and how do you prepare it? We wait for your comments on Facebook!

Written by Olga Jeczmyk, Translator-Interpreter, Social Media and Content Manager, and Communication and Terminology Trainee in the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament in Luxembourg.
Herausgegeben von Magdalena Sikorska


In Your Pocket. 2020. Hot Beer?! 3 Polish Drinks for Keeping Warm. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/hot-beer-3-polish-drinks-for-keeping-warm_71469f. [Accessed 2 December 2020].

NYT Cooking. 2016. Swedish Mulled Wine (Glogg). [ONLINE] Available at: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1448-swedish-mulled-wine-glogg. [Accessed 2 December 2020].

Allrecipes. 2016. Swedish Glogg. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/56628/swedish-glogg/. [Accessed 2 December 2020].

Mulled wine. 2012. Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulled_wine. [Accessed 2 December 2020].