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Mulled Wine History and Recipe Guide

If you have never had mulled wine, you are missing out on a delicious traditional treat that has been enjoyed for nearly 2000 years all over the world. Mulled wine is made by lightly simmering wine with a specific mixture of spices and fruit, resulting in a warm and sweet seasonal delight.

If you live somewhere where the winters are cold and dark, this drink acts as an ancient remedy for the winter blues. However, it doesn’t have to be cold to enjoy mulled wine. It is simply a delicious and easy-to-make specialty drink that goes great with holiday meals.

The History

Wine has been around for a while (about 10,000 years), and since the beginning, people have been innovating and experimenting with different ways to make wine. In the 2nd Century AD, the clever Romans invented mulled wine in order to keep warm through the winter while they were conquering the rest of Europe. 

While being conquered isn’t usually an ideal situation, the civilizations that the Romans conquered made the most out of it by adopting some of the customs and inventions of the Romans. Mulled wine was so popular that it made its way through all of Europe with each culture adding its own creative spin to the recipe. 

The result is a classic drink that has stood up to the test of time. Here is a simple recipe to act as a guide for you to create your own version of the drink and add to the history yourself!

The Recipe

What You will Need:

  • 2 bottles of wine (red wine is traditional, but a dry white can used) 
  • Mulling spices (kits can be purchased and usually include cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
  • Oranges (peeled to reduce bitterness)
  • Sweetener (optional)

The Process:

  1. Pour 2 bottles of wine into a large pot. When selecting a wine to use for this recipe, look for a mid-tier wine. You want something that you like to drink but isn’t overly expensive.
  2. Add sliced oranges, mulling spices and a sweetener like honey or sugar into the wine and heat to a low simmer. You do not want the wine to boil because it will cook off the alcohol.
  3. After the wine has simmered for at least 20 minutes the flavors will have combined nicely, let it go for up to 3 hours to let those flavors develop even more.
  4. Once the time (or your patience) runs out, turn off the heat and let the wine stand covered at room temperature for a few minutes before carefully pouring the wine through a strainer to remove all of the spices and orange pieces.
  5. Ladle the mulled wine into a vessel that will stand up to the heat like a Cruvina unbreakable wine glass and enjoy!

This is just the basic necessities to create a delicious mulled wine. Feel free to add port or brandy to the mix for a stiffer drink, or add other flavoring agents like peppercorns, dried cranberries, or anything else that may come to mind! Have fun with this recipe and make it your own.

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