mulled wine - making, drinking and the history
‘Mulled’ simply means heated with spices. A variety of drinks can be mulled including mead (an alcoholic drink of fermented honey and water), cider, port and of course the Christmas favourite, wine.
In Medieval times mulled wines were more commonly known as Ypocros or Hipocris, named after the Greek physician Hippocrates.
Sanitation during this time was poor and many believed it was far healthier to drink mulled wine than risk drinking water. There is some truth to the health benefits, as drinking wine in moderation has been linked to reducing the risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes and dementia. Lemon and orange both contain vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant.
So cheers to drinking mulled wine!
How to make mulled wine
Why not have a go at keeping warm this winter by making your very own mulled wine.
There are a number of variations on the classic drink but essentially a simple mulled wine recipe is :
- 1 bottle of red wine (eg. Cabernet Sauvignon)
- ½ pint of water
- 6 level tablespoons of brown sugar
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 1 orange thinly sliced
[Optional: if you would like your hot mulled wine to have a little more kick then you could add some fresh ginger to taste. You may also like to increase the alcoholic content of the drink by adding 2 tablespoons of cherry brandy].
- Heat the water in a pan, along with the sugar and the spices until it begins to boil.
- Remove it from the heat and add the slices of lemon and orange.
- Leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and heat everything for about 5 minutes. DO NOT allow the drink to boil as you will be boiling off the alcohol.
- Strain the drink and serve in warm mugs, or glasses, and garnish with a slice of lemon or orange.
If you wish to store your mulled wine. Allow it to cool and pour the strained drink into bottles. If you wish you can place the spices in the bottles, but avoid the fruit as they tend to go soggy in the wine over time.
If you have any mulled wine recipes then please let us know!