Mulled Wine also known as Vin Chaud in French and Glühwein in German, is a popular winter drink enjoyed during the Christmas season and especially in Christmas Markets all across Europe.
Once you taste various Mulled wines, you will start distinguishing and appreciating the unique variations of homemade recipes passed down from generation to generation. Some folks love a heavier dose of spices; we love our nutmeg & cloves, while others swear by their liquor addition: brandy, spiced rum, whiskey.
While walking through the brightly lit European Christmas stalls filled with regional artisan handmade goods, ornaments, and delicious Christmas foods, sipping mulled wine is essential to warm you up.
We have been making mulled wine at our home in California for years, usually to accompany our Posada winter season celebration. Las Posadas is a Christmas tradition originating in Mexico in 1586, where large groups of townspeople would reenact the journey and arrival of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem on the night of Christmas Eve.
Two people are designated to play Mary and Joseph on their journey, while the rest of the group follows along as a procession from different houses in the town or neighborhood, requesting lodging for the night. The procession sings for lodging at each house, and people stationed at the house sign back, denying them entry until they reach the final home, where they are let in for a large celebration of hospitality and kindness towards others. We kept this tradition alive for many years in San Diego, sharing it with many our friends of various cultures and faiths, and found that mulled wine was the perfect drink to bring everyone together at the end of a chilly night.
We invite you to try it with your loved ones! Happy Holidays - Penelope
We have been making Mulled Wine for years, usually to accompany our Posada, Las Posadas is a Christmas Tradition and Celebration originating in Mexico in 1586. It is a reenactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph the night of Christmas Eve. Two people are designated to play Mary and Joseph (originally Mary would be put on a donkey) and they are followed by the rest of the procession to different houses in the town or neighborhood requesting logging for the night. At each house the procession sings to be let in and people stationed at the house sign back denying them entry until they reach the final house where they are let in and a party is waiting for everyone. Other variations have this occurring every night for nine nights each with a party in a different house.
We continued this tradition in San Diego with many of our friends, and this cultural tradition was enjoyed by Christians, Catholics, Jews, and Atheists alike. At the end of a cold walk a night in late December (yes it did get cold at night in San Diego) what better drink to have than mulled wine.
The alcohol mostly boils off in the mulling process, however you can add in spiced rum or bourbon if you want to make it a real cocktail.
2 litres of cheap dry red wine (we used box wine)
3/4 cup sugar
I cup of water
6 star spices
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 sliced oranges
2 inch piece of ginger peeled cut into 4 sections
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
Step One: Melt the sugar in a medium pot stirring frequently to prevent burning, let it brown a little
Step Two: Add all spices and stir in for a minute.
Step Three: Add the water slowly stirring constantly, let boil and then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
Step Four: Turn off the heat and add brandy. Your syrup is ready to use now or you can refrigerate it and use later.
Step Five: Warm up the syrup and add in your red wine and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes
Serve the wine in heat-proof cups or glasses
*Optional: since most of the alcohol has boiled away you can add a spiced rum or more cognac to turn this into a cocktail
We hope you enjoy this on a cold winters day and that its scent wafts through your home, bringing you the memories of countless generations who have savoured this spiced wine.