The word “mulled” simply means heated and spiced. Many liquids can be mulled – mead, cider, and of course wine.
Mulled wine is a traditional favourite in cooler locations, and goes well with the various celebrations that come around the end of the year.
Mulled wines have a long history. In medieval times these wines were called Ypocras or Hipocris, named after the physician Hippocrates. They were thought to be very healthy, and indeed, with wine at the time being far more sanitary than water, these heated drinks probably did keep people healthy through the cold winters.
Moving forward to the 1500s, cookbooks listed methods of mulling “Clarrey”, or Bordeaux. Recipes involved honey, cinnamon, cardamon, galingale and of course French wine. Mulled wine was a favorite in Victorian England, and Negus – a type of mulled wine – was even served to children at their birthday parties. Today, mulled wine is a staple at many holiday parties.
Mulled wines today are as varied as sangria recipes. There are different styles in every part of the world – some favor using white wine, others red. Some add in only a few spices, while others pour in oranges, cloves, twelve spices and more fruit for color! Your mulled drink is limited only by your own imagination!
1 bottle red wine. Use a good wine with a fruity taste
60g/2oz demerara sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
1 orange, halved
1 dried bay leaf
Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
Stir to mix the ingredients.Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Do not use a high heat and avoid boiling as this will reduce the alcohol content.
Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste.
Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.
Add a slice of orange to the glass and piece of cinnamon as an option.