Mulled Wine

Definition - What does Mulled Wine mean?

Mulled wine is a wine made with the infusion of herbs and spices and served warm. It is a popular drink that has been served in Europe for centuries, typically in the cold months.

Mulled wine is an ancient recipe that dates back to the 2nd century made by the Romans. As they traveled across Europe, the recipe became the part of many cultures.

Depending on the region, the recipe varies, but it usually includes cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, cloves, vanilla and allspice. Young, fruity red wines are used as the base, but that can also vary depending on the country.

WineFrog explains Mulled Wine

An old recipe was found in a medieval English cookery book from 1390 that included the grinding of cinnamon, galangal, ginger, long pepper, cloves, marjoram, nutmeg, grains of paradise, cardamom and sugar. The quantity of the herbs used varies with personal taste.

Traditional recipes state that the spices should be added to 1 large cup of boiling water with the sugar and spice per every pint of wine. The water is then added to the wine and brought to a boil. Frequently, mulled wine is kicked up a notch by the addition of port, sherry, cognac, brandy, or other liquor.

Mulled Wine in England

In England, it is served with crisp toast or biscuits. In Germany, Mulled Wine is called Glühwein. It includes many of the same spices as in other countries, but they use blueberry or cherry wine instead of grape wine.

Nordic Mulled Wine

In Nordic countries, it is known as glögg or gløgg. Bitter orange is commonly used with the other spices that can be found readily mixed in stores. There it is made with vodka, akavit, or brandy.

Mulled Wine in the United States

In the US, mulled wine is typically drunk in the winter holiday seasons between October and January.

In some countries, mulled wine is viewed to have medicinal properties to ward of the cold and flu during winter, similar to the Nepalese belief in Chhaang.

A common recipe for mulled wine is:

  • 2 Bottles Spanish Rioja
  • 1 cup tawny port
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 clementine with peel, sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cardamom pod
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 dried figs
  • 1 thin slice of fresh ginger (peeled)

Combine all the ingredients in a pot and simmer or use a crock-pot. Make a few hours in advance to allow flavors to combine.

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