The weather outside may be getting colder and colder but that doesn’t mean you have to as well. While many people will be drinking hot chocolate, coffee and tea to warm up this holiday season, Swig recommends a different drink. Mulled wine, served warm, is the perfect way to cozy up and get into the holiday spirit!
The history of mulled wine is a long one. As long as there was wine, there seems to be a history of people trying to spice it up. There are even documented recipes from ancient Roman times for this beverage! Mulled wine is a European drink and can often be found in countries with European colonial influences like Chile and Brazil. This drink is generally more popular around winter time, and the recipes normally call for a healthy dose of wine, spices, sugar and occasionally a spirit like whiskey or rum.
We recommend trying different versions of mulled wine this holiday season as every country has their own way of making this beverage. In Germany and Austria, mulled wine is called Gluhwein and is made with baking spices, sugar and citrus flavors. In the Nordic countries, mulled wine is called Glogg and it’s spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and bitter orange and is sometimes spiked with a spirit like vodka or akvavit (a local anise flavored spirit). Mulled wine is a staple for the colder months ahead and during holiday parties spent with family and friends!
Now, we all know you are itching to make some yourself so here are some fun recipes to try. The first recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe which was featured on Barefoot Contessa.
3 cups of Apple or Pear Cider
1 bottle of Dry Red Wine (We recommend a big, bold wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel)
¼ cup of honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, peeled and juiced
4 whole cloves
Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
For those Drink Explorers looking to pack a little more punch this holiday season, here is our personal recipe at Swig, inspired by the Nordic version of mulled wine, Glogg.
2 bottles of Port Wine (a regular tawny port will do)
1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
1½ cup of Bourbon Whiskey
3 cinnamon sticks, cracked in half
7 whole cloves
1 orange peeled and juiced
1 cup of sugar
- Combine all the wine, spices, orange juice and peels in a large pot and simmer under medium-low heat for five minutes.
- Stir in the sugar and whiskey and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes making sure that all sugar is dissolved.
- To serve, ladle into mugs with cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Enjoy your delicious mulled wine!
Our recipe will store for up to six months because of the high alcohol content. Keep it in the fridge separated from the spices and reheat to serve. Get out there, get festive, and have some fun!
Top image via Sprig of Thyme