As the temperature drops, your desire to get cozy is sure to be on the rise. Though spiked hot chocolate and hot toddies are likely already in your rotation during the fall, you may have been missing out on another highly customizable warm alcoholic drink: mulled wine.
Mulled wine is a drink made by heating wine (usually red) and infusing it with spices, sometimes via tea bags or packets made of cheesecloth. Raisins, cinnamon sticks, and fruit are also sometimes thrown into the mix for additional flavor. When searching for a mulling spice blend in store, you’ll notice that it’s a mixture of other ingredients that you recognize—nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and peppercorn are all common components.
Even though wine is a key element of most recipes, teetotalers and kids can get in on the fun, too. Because mulling simply means warming something and adding spices and sweetening to it, non-alcoholic versions of mulled wine can be made with juice instead of vino.
Although technology has led to easier ways to make the beverage (it’s a great excuse to pull your slow cooker out from the back of your cabinets!), the drink has a long, rich history. The ancient Greeks and Romans used to boil down higher quality wine and then mix it with bad wine to improve the quality of the subpar supply. Eventually, additions like honey and spices were mixed in, evolving into what we think of as mulled wine today.
Now, many different countries and cultures have their versions of the toasty and festive drink, from Glögg in Sweden to vin chaud in France to Caribou in Canada. With autumn in full swing, it’s the perfect time to get a mug of your own. Read ahead for some you’ll want to try.
Repurpose dry red wines you have hanging around your home into this German cold weather staple. The addition of brandy means this version packs quite a punch. Get our German Mulled Wine (Glühwein) recipe.
Though this libation is more commonly associated with red wine, that doesn’t mean white wine shouldn’t get some love, too. This version includes the option of adding fruit like oranges, lemons, or apples. Can that count as our fruit serving for the day? Get the recipe.
In this booze-free recipe, grape juice takes the place of wine, making it a perfect choice for those who want to warm up but don’t want to consume alcohol. The addition of maple syrup also adds a bit of sweetness to the mixture. Get the recipe.
Mulled wine’s association with Christmas dates way back to the mid-19th century, when Charles Dickens included a nod to a version of the beverage, called a Smoking Bishop, in his holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Serve this red-wine punch at any fall or winter function and you’ll be sure to bring in holiday cheer. Get our Smoking Bishop (Mulled Red Wine with Port) recipe.
This fruit-focused recipe can be made in a flash and double as a cold drink for sangria lovers. The cranberries and oranges make for a festive-looking glass no matter how you drink it. Get the recipe.
No desire to stand over the stove to keep an eye on your concoction? No worries. Stir up all the ingredients in your slow cooker, let it do its thing for an hour and enjoy. Get the recipe.
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