Mulled wine, also known as "liquid Christmas in a mug", is a traditional winter drink that has been enjoyed for centuries. The origins of mulled wine can be traced back to ancient Rome, where wine was heated with spices and served as a warming drink during the cold winter months. The practice of mulling wine spread throughout Europe, with variations of the drink appearing in Germany, France, and England.
The traditional recipe for mulled wine includes red wine, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and orange peel. The ingredients are simmered together in a pot, creating a warm and fragrant drink that is perfect for a cold winter evening. The spices used in the recipe can vary depending on the region and personal taste. Some popular variations include adding ginger, cardamom, or allspice to the mix.
How to make it:
Making your own mulled wine at home is a simple process. First, choose a full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Next, add sugar to the wine to sweeten it, the amount of sugar can vary depending on your personal taste. The spices should be added next, with cinnamon and cloves being the most traditional choices. The orange peel should be added last to give the wine a citrusy aroma.
Once all the ingredients are added, the wine should be simmered over low heat for about 30 minutes. It is important not to boil the wine as it can cause the alcohol to evaporate and the flavors to become muted. Once the wine has been heated through, it can be strained and served in a mug or a heat-proof glass. Mulled wine can also be served with a slice of orange or a cinnamon stick for garnish.
Mulled wine can be served as a warm, comforting drink on its own or it can be paired with traditional winter foods such as roasted meats, roasted vegetables, and hearty stews. It is also perfect for holiday gatherings and parties, as it can be made in advance and kept warm in a slow cooker. Plus, it's like having a hug in a mug!