From mince pies to mulled wine, the festive season wouldn’t be complete without some traditional treats. One of the best things about the Christmas period is enjoying a steamy cup full of mulled wine that’s both warming and spicy. There’s something special about this beverage and it cooks up an image of cosy firesides and twinkling fairy lights; it’s a celebration of everything festive.
The term ‘mulled’ means to be heated and spiced and its origins can be traced to the Roman Empire where it was regarded as medicinal with healing properties. The Romans heated quality wine with herbs and spices to create an aromatic potion and named it the Hippocras. Later it featured in Charles Dickens’ work of A Christmas Carol where there is reference to a cup of Smoking Bishop, which is believed to be made using port. Now the festive tipple is an international tradition and the recipe is adapted across different parts of Europe with additional spices.
Mulled wine doesn’t just have to be made using wine, non-alcoholic versions can be brewed. Below is a recipe that will be sure to warm your cockles and ignite your senses; it’s rich in spices and free from alcoholic ingredients. Merry Christmas!
You will need:
2 litres of grape juice
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
2 dozen cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 orange zest
1 lemon zest
3 squeezed lemons
Step 1: First heat the water and add sugar, cloves, cinnamon and lemon zest.
Step 2: Boil for five minutes. Once the ingredients have boiled, simmer for a further five minutes.
Step 3: Now strain the liquid, add the lemon juice and continue to heat.
Step 4: Finally, add the grape juice and keep it on a low heat for another five minutes.
Step 5: Once it’s as warm as you like, serve into cups and enjoy.
Recipe by Laura Dunham