There is nothing better to warm your insides during wintertime than a bit of mulled wine. It is usually served during Christmas. However, nothing is stopping you from enjoying it all year round! If you have never tried it or possibly heard of it, then you are missing out on something great.
Mulled wine is served warm or hot and is typically made using a sweetened red wine like cabernet sauvignon. It has aromatics with citrus fruits and warming spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Warm mulled wine has become a winter norm, as much a part of the collective experience in snowy regions.
If you like the winter season and celebrate holidays, you are probably already familiar with mulled wine or at least heard of it. However, very few people know where it came from or how or why it became so popular.
Its history goes right back to the Ancient Greeks & Romans. Heated and spiced wine has evolved through time to include different medleys of flavoring, including ginger, pepper, cardamom, and even herbs.
Mulled wine originated in the 1st century. Soldiers in ancient Rome needed something that could warm them up during winter, so heating wine seemed like a good plan. As the Roman empire continued expanding, their love for mulled wine spread throughout Europe and the following centuries.
As mulled wine kept growing in popularity throughout the middle ages, people in Europe started adding their twist to it. They would add spices because they believed it would promote good health. They also added herbs because sometimes the wines they used were hard to drink, so adding herbs to improve the taste was not uncommon.
Over time, the craze for mulled wine decreased across some regions across Europe. However, in places like Sweden, its popularity only increased. Claret (Rhen wine, spices, sugar, and honey) and Lutendrank (various spices, milk, and wine) were just two variations that the Swedish monarchy made famous for over the coming centuries.
As more alternatives developed over time, recipe books started using the collective name glögg, first mentioned in 1609. The subsequent significant adaptation took place in the 1800s when cognacs-glögg began to become popular, too.
Something that changed the whole image of mulled wine was Christmas and Santa Claus. In the 1890s, mulled wine or gløgg became associated with Christmas. Every wine merchant across the country has its unique recipe for selling. Over time, these bottles were distributed throughout Europe, cementing this forgotten drink into a new festive light.
As time went by, mulled wine became a global attraction for Christmas, with countries all over the world creating their unique recipes. Variations now include everything from white wines to red wines, vermouth to sangria blends – each country's method slightly different from the next.
To this day, mulled wine continues to be a Christmas tradition alongside its sister drink, mulled cider.
Here is a quick and simple recipe for you to make your very own mulled wine!
How To Make Mulled Wine at Home
- Saucepan that can hold 750ml of wine
- 750 ml red wine. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
- 1/3 vanilla bean
- 1/4 cup of honey or 1/4 of maple syrup
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2-oranges (Cut in half)
- 2-inch piece of ginger (sliced)
- 5-whole cloves
- 1-star anise
- 3-whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Put everything into the saucepot (except the oranges). Add the apple cider, honey, and the rest of the spices. If you are using the nutmeg, grate a little bit into it (use the colander to strain out later).
- Cut three (3) slices of orange (with the skin) and add them to wine, and juice the rest of the orange.
- Carefully warm this up. Stir everything and cook on low until it's warm. You want to cook but not boil (keep the alcohol!)
- Put a small slice of orange in a mug. Then pour over the wine when it's ready to serve. Be cautious about leaving the spices in the pot!
- Stir in the brandy (optional)
- Pour it into the mugs through the colander.
- Decorate with leftover orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
Are you looking for high-quality wine glasses to accompany your wine? Check out the wine glass collection we have at Taste of Purple!
How To Serve
Serve it in heatproof porcelain, glass mugs, or other receptacles that can resist heat.
Related: Wine: How to Know When You've Drunk Too Much
Best Wines To Make Mulled Wine
Some families have their recipes passed down from generations, and others like to buy it already done. Either way, it's OK to have a good time with friends and family.
However, if you buy mulled wine at a shop, it might not be to your liking. If that's the case, why not do it yourself, right?
Fortunately, you don't have to get expensive wine to make an excellent mulled wine. Even something fruity will do. So leave that Chateau Margaux aside for another time.
According to Mirror, if you're thinking about brewing your own mulled wine this winter, these are the 11 inexpensive wine options to get you started:
- Co-op Irresistible Australian Shiraz
- Baron De Ley Reserva Rioja
- Gold Label Merlot - Case of 6
- Monte Del Fra Valpolicella Classico Lena di Mezzo
- Barefoot Merlot
- Monte Giove Sangiovese Merlot
- Squealing Pig Grenache Syrah Carignan
- J.P. Chenet Cabernet Syrah
- Lindeman's Tollana Shiraz Cabernet
- Graffigna Reserve Malbec
- Trivento Reserve Malbec
You can also use a bourbon tasting kit to help you experience your drink to the maximum. Here at Taste of Purple, we can help you get high-quality whiskey stones to help your drink to stay colder longer without compromising their taste.
Other Types of Mulled Wine
Depending on the region, you may know mulled wine by a different name. However, here are the names of five other classic winter warmers from around the world.
- Old-fashioned Swedish Glogg
- Margaret's Hot Mulled Wine
- Hot Spiced Christmas Wine
- Mulled Wine (Vin Chaud)
So there you have it! Now you know how to make this delicious drink at home.
Have a wonderful winter season!