There was a time when wine was more commonly served to children, not merely adults, and this included mulled wine as well. During the Victorian era a particular mulled wine recipe just for children was developed. Named "Negus," it was served during the Christmas holidays and sometimes kids' birthday parties.
This recipe for Negus, the mulled wine for children, was first published in the 1861 book Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management...
Negus Mulled Wine
Negus Mulled Wine Ingredients
- 1 pint port wine
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 lb sugar
- 1 lemon
- grated nutmeg to taste
Negus Mulled Wine Recipe
Mode- As this beverage is more usually drunk at children’s parties than at any other, the wine need not be very old or expensive for the purpose, a new fruity wine answering very well for it.
Put the wine into a jug, rub some lumps of sugar (equal to 1/4 lb.) on the lemon-rind until all the yellow part of the skin is absorbed, then squeeze the juice, and strain it. Add the sugar and lemon-juice to the port wine, with the grated nutmeg; pour over it the boiling water, cover the jug, and, when the beverage has cooled a little, it will be fit for use.
Negus may also be made of sherry, or any other sweet white wine, but is more usually made of port than of any other beverage.
Sufficient - Allow 1 pint of wine, with the other ingredients in proportion, for a party of 9 or 10 children.
It's interesting to contrast the above recipe for Negus with Mrs. Beeton's recipe for mulled wine that's intended for adults...
Mulled Wine Ingredients
- 1 pint port wine
- 1 cup water
- sugar and spices to taste
Mulled Wine Recipe
Mode- In making preparations like the above, it is very difficult to give the exact proportions of ingredients like sugar and spice, as what quantity might suit one person would be to another quite distasteful.
Boil the spice in the water until the flavour is extracted, then add the wine and sugar, and bring the whole to the boiling-point, when serve with strips of crisp dry toast, or with biscuits. The spices usually used for mulled wine are cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon or mace.
Any kind of wine may be mulled, but port and claret are those usually selected for the purpose; and the latter requires a very large proportion of sugar. The vessel that the wine is boiled in must be delicately clean, and should be kept exclusively for the purpose.
Small tin warmers may be purchased for a trifle, which are more suitable than saucepans, as, if the latter are not scrupulously clean, they will spoil the wine, by imparting to it a very disagreeable flavour. These warmers should be used for no other purposes.
The mulled wine for adults has much less water than the Negus mulled wine for children. It also probably has less sugar — the Negus mulled wine recipe specifies a certain minimum amount of sugar for the kids, but the adult mulled wine recipe leaves the amount open so that much less can be used.