Mulled wine dates back to between 100 and 200 AD when the Romans drank hot wine to help protect them from the cold weather. As the Romans ruled much of Europe, the tradition spread throughout their Empire and where they traded.
Historical cookbooks have several mentions relating to mulled wine, one of which dates back to 1390 called The Forme of Cury and includes a lot of the spices we add today. There are Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, and in Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol where he mentions “a bowl of smoking bishop” which was a form of mulled wine and port that was popular in Victorian times.
Other names of the variant include Glühwein from Germany, Glogg in Scandinavian countries and vin chaud in France.
So, what with the cold nights and scatter of snow this morning, we thought it would be the perfect time to share our mulled wine recipe with you.
- 1 bottle of Full Bodied Red Wine
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 4 Cloves
- 1 Lemon (unwaxed), sliced
- 1 Orange, sliced
- 2 Star Anise
- 1 dried Bay Leaf
- Small pinch of Nutmeg
- 50g Demerara sugar
- Splash of Brandy (optional)
Place all the ingredients, except the brandy, into a large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow to boil but simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a heat proof bowl and serve warm with a slice of orange or lemon, adding the brandy to taste if you wish.