The Germans call it glühwein. The French, vin chaud. In Croatia it is known as kuhano vino. In Nordic countries it is referred to as glögg, and in most English speaking countries we know it as mulled wine. What ever you call it the result is the same. Spiced red wine sometimes fortified with brandy or other spirits and served warm. This traditional winter drink is served the world over and is very popular at Christmas time when visiting with family and friends.
The main ingredients are red wine, sugar or honey and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and orange zest. Stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit or brandy can be added if desired. White or rosé wine can be substituted if red is not to your liking. All ingredients are combined and heated to approximately 150-160 degrees. Be careful not to over heat or boil the mixture. Since alcohol evaporates at 172 degrees which is much lower than water you would be left with a non-alcoholic version of mulled wine and that defeats the purpose.
For a non-alcoholic option try replacing the wine with apple juice and you have a hot spiced apple cider.
Most of us already have the main ingredients in our pantries to make mulled wine. A simple Google search will result in hundreds of recipes although said recipes can be adjusted to suit your individual tastes. If you are not the DIY type then some specialty markets sell premade spice bags that can be added to the wine when heated.
The Germans say Prost. The French say À votre santé and in Croatia they say Živjeli. No matter how you say it the result is the same....Cheers!
Here is one recipe for mulled wine to get you started. If you do substitute apple juice for the wine you may want to eliminate the sugar or honey as the juice will be sweet enough.
Mulled Wine Ingredients:
- One 750 ml bottle red wine (suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot)
- One peeled and sliced orange (keep peel to add zest to taste into cooking pot)
- 1/4 cup of brandy
- 8-10 whole cloves
- 2/3 cup honey or sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp fresh ginger (allspice can be substituted)
Mulled Wine Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a large pot or a slow cooker. Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 30 minutes to infuse flavours. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has completely dissolved. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been well blended it is ready to serve. Ladle the mulled wine into mugs (leave seasonings behind) and enjoy!
*Do not use an aluminum pot as the acids in the wine will react with the metal and can give your mulled wine a metallic taste.