The basic idea behind mulled wines goes back to the Middle Ages, but what we know as mulled wines can be traced back to the Victorian Era. It was here that combinations of spices, citrus, and red wine were used to create drinks that we'd not only recognize as mulled wine, but would find familiar in taste as well.
Still, Victorian mulled wines were a little different from the current versions.
Victorian Mulled Wine Ingredients
- 2 bottles red wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- fresh ginger root, approximately 2 inches
- cloves to taste (around a half dozen is good to start with)
- 1 orange (for zesting)
- Use a dry, robust, fruity red wine for best results
- You can substitute allspice for the ginger, if necessary
Victorian Mulled Wine Preparation
- Medium saucepan
- Spoon for stirring
Tip: saucepan should be made from nonractive metal — aluminum pans will react with the acids in the red wine, creating a metallic taste in your mulled win.
- 10 minutes to prepare the ingredients
- 15 minutes to heat the wine
- 5 minutes to serve
Making Victorian Mulled Wine
Victorian Mulled Wine Recipe
- Zest the orange
- Peel and slice the ginger into small pieces
- Pour red wine into the saucepan, put stove on medium heat
- Add the spices
Tip: don't let the mulled wine reach boiling! Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, so if your mulled wine starts to boil then you're already losing a lot of alcohol.
Serving Victorian Mulled Wine
- Ladle the mulled wine into mugs
- Put a strainer over the mugs to catch bits of spices
- Add an extra cinnamon stick for garnish, if desired
Tip: use heated mugs to keep your mulled wine warm