Spiced wine isn’t just for the holidays, gluhwein served all winter long at Sonnenalp Vail
A classic drink that is a must-try while in the mountains is spiced wine that is served hot to take out the chill in the air. In England they call it mulled wine, in Scandinavia they call it glogg and in German-speaking countries and parts of France they call it gluhwein. We headed to the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, where they make it by the gallon, to learn more about this winter favorite.
“We make gluhwein on a daily basis to have it always fresh,” said Daniel Spingler, director of food and beverage at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail Village. “We usually do two to three gallons depending on if it is a weekday or weekend.”
Gluhwein has aromas that elicit feelings of good cheer and is a perfect drink when you come in from the slopes or even a good choice after dinner in case you decide to “drink your dessert”.
“We especially have a lot of locals who come into the King’s Club just for the gluhwein. We also we have a gluhwein happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., which is very popular,” Spingler said. The King’s Club lounge provides the perfect setting with its authentic alpine decor, cozy seating areas and live music throughout apres ski and evening time.
Spingler shared the hotel’s recipe for this alpine specialty with us and a few other secrets. “You can even add rum, Amaretto or Grand Marnier to your homemade gluhwein. Just add one shot before serving and you can feel how it heats you up from the inside,” Spingler said.
Try this recipe at home or let the professionals at the Sonnenalp serve you a cup of this tasty drink.
1 bottle of red wine of your choice
2 cinnamon sticks
A few peppercorns
5 star anise
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
Orange slices for garnish
Place wine and the spices and sugar into a large pot. Cut one orange into slices and add to the mixture, bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, do not boil. Remove spices with a strainer. Serve while hot. Garnish with orange slice. You may store it in the fridge and heat it back up before serving.
The Vail Valley is kicking off the summer season with everything from barbecues and restaurant deals, white water rafting and ceremonies honoring those who fought for our freedoms.