The Week’s Wine Wisdom
A History of Mulled Wine: The word “mulled” simply means heated and spiced. Many liquids can be mulled – mead, cider, and of course wine. Mulled wine is a traditional favorite in cooler locations, and goes well with the various celebrations that come around the end of the year.
Mulled wines have a long history. In medieval times these wines were called Ypocras or Hipocris, named after the physician Hippocrates. They were thought to be very healthy, and indeed, with wine at the time being far more sanitary than water, these heated drinks probably did keep people healthy through the cold winters.
Moving forward to the 1500s, cookbooks listed methods of mulling “Clarrey”, or Bordeaux. Recipes involved honey, cinnamon, cardamon, galingale and of course French wine. Mulled wine was a favorite in Victorian England, and Negus – a type of mulled wine – was even served to children at their birthday parties. Today, mulled wine is a staple at many holiday parties.
Mulled wines today are as varied as sangria recipes. There are different styles in every part of the world – some favor using white wine, others red. Some add in only a few spices, while others pour in oranges, cloves, twelve spices and more fruit for color! Your mulled drink is limited only by your own imagination!