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2 min.

Following the mulled wine recipe relaxes me, and I’m not referring to the scent emanating from the pot while it cooks, but to the thoughts and memories that I let loose in the meantime. The mulled wine recipe means memories of short winter escapes between European capitals and Scandinavian countries; it means smiling while thinking of the cold and the snow and above all welcoming friends and chatting in front of the fire.

The first time I drank mulled wine, I drank a lot, maybe too much, and I had a lot of fun. I was in Vienna for New Year’s Eve 2002, there was snow, and the thermometer marked -21 °. The city was freezing, the driveway to Schönbrunn a slab of ice, as well as the Belvedere gardens and the entrance to the Musikverein. The stalls of mulled wine and pretzel followed each other without interruption every few meters, and I stopped in almost everyone, even getting the first Euro of my life at the ATM to buy a cup of it immediately after the Radetzky-Marsch directed by Seiji Ozawa. A precious memory, obviously not only for the comforting spicy wine …

From those three days in Vienna, I started drinking it whenever I found myself in a snowy city or the mountains, up to the last cup a few nights ago, in front of the Abisko’s Aurora Sky Station stove, in Swedish Lapland.

Over the years, I also started to prepare it because of evenings with friends, between nightly Games of Thrones Risk challenges and chatter in front of the fireplace. During the Holiday Season, I even prepare it at the hotel to comfort my customers coming back from scenic walks along the Cinque Terre footpaths.

     Mulled wine recipe

The mulled wine is nothing but a hot aromatic drink, made with red wine, spices, and citrus. It was already known in the Middle Ages, under the name of Ipocras, but they used to drink it cold.

My mulled wine recipe

You only need very few and cheap ingredients for the mulled wine recipe, but they need to be the first choice because a mediocre red wine will never become a good mulled wine, and powder spices bought in a hypermarket will never match fresh ones.

  • 1 liter of red wine (I like Merlot)
  • 1 cup of Brandy
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 pieces of star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

Pour everything into a big pot and cook over a very slow flame for about twenty minutes without having it boil. Once cooked, filter it with a colander and serve it while steaming, with roasted chestnuts or biscuits or pretzels.

You could also prepare the mulled wine in advance, store it in the fridge for three or four days, and heat it only when friends arrive.

P.S. Red wine is not used everywhere; in Veneto, they use Chardonnay or Pinot Bianco…

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Silvia's Trips

Hi there! My name is Silvia and after 15 years between the Paris Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia I now run a boutique hotel in Cinque Terre, deal with tourism management and blogging, sail, horse-ride, play guitar and write about my solo trips around the world. For more info about me and my travel blog check my full bio.

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