Published the Jan 30 2018 in "Articles"
Everybody knows what the best remedy in case of low temperatures is, and yes you can drink it obviously: the Mulled Wine!
The origin of this beverage is rather old: it is said that the ancient Egyptians made it first! However, the exact origin remain unknown. The spiced wine was used for medicinal purposes and was considered to be a remedial elixir of the afterlife.
The antique Romans extended this drink through Europe. Early recipes included an exotic array of herbs and spices such as spikenard, cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, and honey.
Romans were improving the recipe through the years. They used to plant flowers and herbs inbetween the vineyards ranks, trying to transmit their flavours to the grapes.
The crusades made most of the work in spreading mulled wine through Europe. Around this time cinnamon, ginger, cloves, paradise, and long pepper were the typical spices used to make it.
Years later, each country started to adapt the recipe. In Poland, a cream was added to mulled wine, making wine soup, known to be an extremely refined breakfast. The English version was usually made with a sweet wine, water, lemon peel, lemon juice and nutmeg. In Spain, the original Sangria was just cold, spiced wine, and contained cinnamon, ginger, and pepper.
Now that you know the history of this popular drink, time to make it!
- 2 clementines
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 200 g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
- 2 star anise
- Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
- Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
- Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
- When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.
With the cold we had these days, isn’t it the perfect time to drink a full bowl of Mulled Wine?