If you’re looking for a cure against cold or personal grief, we found a great way to start for you! Red or white wine sprinkled with warm spices, sugar or honey, this is called mulled wine, and Winalist will tell you all about this beverage’s secrets.
Mulled Wine history through Europe
Let’s start at the time of the Roman Empire when the spicy wine was called “conditum paradoxum” and was made with honey, pepper, bay leaf, saffron, dates and roasted dates seeds. In the Middle Age, it changed its name to “pepper” in the South of France where Montpellier became the reference for the trade of spiced wines. The spices that were added to the wine were coming from the far-East, bringing this rare and refined image to mulled wine. Henry III of England was ordering some on its table, so as Gustave I of Sweden.
Starting in the 17th century, the mulled wine is no longer an aristocratic drink anymore. Mulled wine got popular among Europe from North to South. Called “Glögg” (heated wine) in Sweden, “Glühwein“, in the Germanic countries, mulled wine became a must-drink at Christmas markets. Those were typical in Germany, Eastern France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands by that time. In France, this “French wine” was a version made up with red wine spiced with cinnamon. It was served at all hostels in the nineteenth. Mulled wine then spread to Italy where they called it “vin brûlé” (burned wine, in French).
Mulled wine has been a Christmas drink since the end of the 17th century. Each wine merchant was offering his or her own version of the mulled wine by that time and now, the sweet hot beverages has spread through all Christmas markets and ski resorts!
Where to find mulled wine
• Drink it directly
On Christmas markets, it’s part of the traditional hot drinks along with hot chocolate and the French version of apple cider (usually, heated apple juice with spices)!
At ski resorts, it stands for the invigorating drink after good skiing sessions! Dr. Marc-Hervé Binet, President of the Association of Mountain Doctors, explains that “mulled wine (such as the other hot drinks) provides a pleasant sensation in the esophagus“, but as it remains alcohol, we advise you to taste it with moderation if you want to ski straight!
• To be prepared
You can find ready-made liquid preparations, or spices bags to infuse in the wine you’ll choose.
In the latter case, here is a small recipe, as simple as preparing your tea: in a saucepan, infuse a bag of spices in 25 cl of red wine. Bring the mixture to boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep for 1 minute. Remove the spices bag. Sweet teeth would add sugar or honey. It’s ready, and it’s to be tasted very hot!
You can find ready-to-drink mulled wine, bottled or in barrels, in every French supermarket. Winalist advises gourmet and curious people to try to cook with this supermarket mulled wine. For example, you can try mulled wine marinated duck which is a delight!
Homemade mulled wine (aka glühwein) recipe
Ingredients for 6 people :
– Spices: 2 sticks of cinnamon, 1 star anise, ginger, cardamom and 5 cloves.
– Spices variation: fresh mint or coriander
– More tastes: 3 organic oranges, 1 organic lemon, 100g of sugar or 20g of honey
– Wine: preferably a bottle of red table wine
(start preparing only 20 to 30 minutes before to serve it warm and freshly made)
- Take out a large saucepan or a slow cooker that will serve as a container for the beverage
- Wash and dry the oranges and the lemon. Squeeze the juice of 2 oranges and the lemon into the container and cut the third orange into slices. Since the skin of these fruits are kept in the mulled wine, it’s better to choose organic ones.
- Pour the wine and the sugar (or the honey) into the container and bring the blend to boil.
- Once the bubbles have reached the surface, turn off the heat, add the spices. You can add orange and lemon peels if you want more fruity flavors. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Divide the slices of orange into 6 glasses and pour the mulled wine over them. The hotter, the better!
If you have mulled wine left over, remove the spices out of the beverage if you need to heat it later, otherwise, the taste will be too strong!
🍷 The Winalist team wishes you a good mulled wine tasting for the winter! 🍷
Also published on Medium.