Mulled Wine simply means heated and spiced wine. A mulled drink (Glogg in Scandinavia) can be made from nearly anything, though traditional Christmas mulled wines tend to be red wines heated with clove, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange.
The tradition of drinking mulled wine throughout the winter dates back to the medieval era. Back then wine was safer to drink than water; so many a life was saved through the drinking of mulled wine!
Fortunately today, we imbibe in this spirited concoction purely for enjoyment.
There are many variations of mulled wine; in fact this is an easy recipe to personalize. The most important element to making a good mulled wine is to keep the wine from boiling, choose your ingredients and allow them to simmer at a low heat.
Basic Mulled Wine Recipe
Bring to a simmer equal parts sugar and water, when the sugar has nearly dissolved add your spices. You can add whatever you want, though cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, star anise and citrus peel tend to be the classic additions. Allow your spices to simmer with the sugar and water for at least ten minutes before adding wine. The wine will evaporate, so it is a good idea to start with at least two bottles of wine. Simmer the wine and spices together at a low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, strain before serving and enjoy!
(You can also vary your starting liquid by substituting honey or brown sugar for plain sugar)