A traditional winter drink recipe
It’s the beginning of the holiday season, Christmas markets and cold winter nights and there is nothing better than a cup of spicy mulled wine to warm your soul and get you into the holiday spirit. Mulled wine is always a favorite drink at holiday parties and its inviting aroma is sure to lure visitors to the food stalls at the Budapest Christmas Market. Mulled wine is a traditional holiday treat in many countries, including Hungary. This is probably no surprise, as Hungary has many famous wine regions producing great red wines.
With its long and varied history there are many variations on the recipe of mulled wine. Based on different traditions, naming conventions and ancient recipes the only thing that we can say for sure about mulled wine is that it contains wine and it's served hot. Other than these two key components, mulled wine is often made by adding spices, sugar, fruits and fruit juices and honey just to mention the most popular. Mulled wine can be diluted by adding tea or water or you can even increase its alcohol content by adding more liquor, typically brandy. You are only limited by your taste and imagination when it comes to making the prefect cup of mulled wine. Here is one of the many recipes to make mulled wine at home:
To every 750 ml bottle of red wine (i.e. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz), add the following:
- 2/3 cup of honey or sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 8-10 cloves
- 2 tsp ground ginger (can be substituted by allspice)
- 1 orange, peeled and sliced (keep the peel to add zest for taste)
- 2 ounces of brandy (optional)
Combine the ingredients (except the brandy) in a large pot over low to medium heat and warm carefully. Keep below a simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. Despite its Hungarian name, ‘forralt bor’ (boiled wine), it’s important not to boil the wine, as the boiling point of alcohol is lower than that of water so by the time it comes to a boil both its alcohol content and wonderful aroma will be gone. Finally stir in the brandy, serve hot and enjoy.
Tell us your favorite recipe for mulled wine.