On the 18th Day of Blogmas: Mulled Wine
I love mulled wine and always look forward to making my first batch. There is something very homely about simmering fruits and spices in a bath of deep red wine.
Mulled wine was created by the Romans back in the 2nd century. They discovered that the warmed wine defended their bodies against the cold winter. As they conquered Europe, their love for the drink spread across their empire and their trading partners.
By the Middle Ages, the tradition of adding spices to warm wine was prevalent, as people believed it would prevent sickness. Herbs and flowers were also added to sweeten the wine.
In time, the popularity of mulled wine decreased across much of Europe. However, in Scandinavia the craze continued and by the 17th century there were so many variations that they became known by their collective name of glögg.
By the end of the 19th century glögg had become associated with Christmas and today hundreds of variations exist – including mine! The following recipe makes about 12 glasses. It’s a great drink to have on the go in case unexpected visitors arrive, as you can keep on topping it up. So help yourself to a glass of good cheer and fill your home with the fragrance of Christmas.
2 bottles red wine
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 tbs caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
2 star anise
- Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and a few gratings of nutmeg. Stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
- Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine. Turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine.
- Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, once it’s warm and delicious, ladle into heatproof glasses, serve and enjoy!