As we are stepping into the colder days of winter, it’s time to talk about the mulled wine. Australian winter is definitely not a dark or icy one when compared with Northern Europe’s long and dark winters. However, with strong Australian winds and chilly Pacific Ocean breeze, we indeed deserve a cozy, delicious and warming cup of mulled wine.
Let’s talk about what actually is it and where it originates from.
Glühwein in Germany, Gløgg in Nordic countries, Grzaniec in Poland, Glintvein in Russia is a traditional and old Christmas/winter drink. It originated in such Northern European/ Slavic countries ad the winters are harsh, long and dark, however travelled its way all around the world. Its traditionally a red wine, combined with winter spices and maybe a shot of rum or a liquor, warmed up over hot irons.
If you travel to Germany during Christmas, you will see Christmas Markets with red stripped tents where you can find Glühwein stalls to warm your day up! Nothing better than a cup of spicy and sweet mug of warm red in winter!
What do we need to make this traditional winter drink at home?
Let’s get into it!
First of all, the red wine that will go into the mulled wine should be a medium to full bodied red with rich red fruit flavours and aromas which will be enhanced with the heat. Merlot, Grenache, Zinfandel or Shiraz would be the ideal type of reds. You do not have to spend a lot of money on the red, that’s for sure and using a young wine is also perfectly fine. Take a look at our red selection suitable for mulled wine!
Check here for our red selection to make a perfect mulled wine!
Next step is the spices and fruits. Cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, star anise and nutmeg are the winter spices that traditionally used in making Glühwein. You can also add fresh vanilla, mahlab or ginger to create your own twist on the traditional drink. A whole orange with its peel on, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and couple slices of lime to give a little zest will be ideal! Try sticking cloves onto the whole orange so you don’t have to fish them out while serving and also to break the orange peel for flavours and aromas to infuse in the wine.
To give an additional booziness and structure to it you can add some rum, cognac or your favourite liquor.
How do we make it?
Except the sugar, dump all ingredients in a pan and start simmering it gently over low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes and stir occasionally. The trick here is to not let it boil. If you boil the wine, it will take off the alcohol. We definitely do not want that! Right before it starts boil, add the sugar or other ingredients to sweeten it up and stir for couple of minutes. Now, it’s good to go!
Finally, we have to garnish the drink. You can use couple of orange slices, sliced strawberries and cinnamon stick to complete and serve your mulled wine. Voila!
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