“Wine is fit for man in a wonderful way provided that it is taken with good sense by the sick as well as the healthy”, Hippocrates (ca. 460-370 BCE).
Mulled wine and winter seem to go hand in hand, don’t they? Especially in December with all that added festive spirit about! I’m a huge fan of this fragrant, spicy drink ever since my very first taste one very snowy Christmas eve in Paris, about 20 years ago. Is there really an art to making mulled wine? Some would have you think so. To me, there really is no hard and fast rule about what exact spices and how much of them you put in your mulled wine, it really is a matter of taste, after all, the term “mulled” simply means heated and spiced up.
Some years ago, I came across a mulled wine recipe in a medieval book dating back to 1390, “The Forme of Cury”. This recipe called for a host of spices, not just the usual cinnamon, cloves and cardamom but galangal too! In the 14th century? I still find that incredible!
How far back does mulled wine go? For a long time, the first recorded accounts of heated up and spiced wine goes back to the Romans in the second century, but recently, historians have started to believe that it dates much further back, to the ancient Egyptians, with the discovery of some medicinal herbs in their wine jars. However old the idea of mulling wine goes, it certainly is a popular one as there are many variations to the theme all around the world: Glögg in Sweden, vino navega’o in Chile, vin chaud in France, just to name a few.
And this is how I make Mulled Wine, with a touch on Cointreau, to complement all that citrus.Print
Mulled Wine – the perfect drink on a cold day.
- 1 bottle of Chianti (or wine of your choice)
- 100 g (3.5 oz) white sugar
- 1 unwaxed orange, sliced in rings
- 1 unwaxed lemon, sliced in rings
- 1 unwaxed lime, sliced in rings
- 2.5 cm (1″) fresh ginger, sliced
- 3 cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 125 ml (half cup) Cointreau
- Place all the ingredients apart from the wine and Cointreau into a small – medium sized saucepan and add just enough wine to cover the sugar, perhaps about 100ml.
- Heat on medium until the sugar has dissolved, stirring well.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and Cointreau and continue to heat on low heat. After 5 minutes or so, it should have warmed through and be ready to be served. I like to leave it on the lowest heat setting and top up my glass as needed.
If you are serving a crowd, have a large saucepan and get 3-4 bottles going on the stove and just leave it there and serve up to guests as needed.
- Serving Size: 6