A History of Mulled Wine: What Makes This Drink So Special?
Image Credit: Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a sweet and fragrant drink that’s enjoyed by many during the holiday season. It has been around since at least the Middle Ages, but its origins are unknown. In fact, different cultures have their own version of mulled wine, which probably explains why this beverage is so popular among people across the globe.

Mulled wine is often served as mulled cider or mulled red wine. However, it can also be made from orange juice or grape juice. The latter kind of mulled wine produces a slightly darker color than the former versions, not to mention that it tastes way more delicious too! Read on to learn more about mulled wine’s history and what makes this Christmas beverage so special.

Why Is Mulled Wine Part Of Christmas Celebrations?

According to historians of cuisine, the first signs of wine being consumed in winter in Rome date back to the second century. It is mentioned by John, the author of "The Christmas Compendium." This classic work on Christmas celebrations records mulled wine being referred to as "ypocras" or "hipocris,"hipocris after the Greek doctor Hippocrates. Mulled wine was created by blending spices with wine to produce an aromatic and healing drink that could be preserved for a long time. 

Mulled wine became a festive staple as people prepared the drink during the winter, especially around Christmas. In order to enjoy the drink with family and friends, the recipe for mulled wine evolved over time. The Europeans added herbs and flowers to the recipe in order to add extra sweetness. As spices such as figs and coriander were added, so did more spices like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Mulled wine was brought to India by the British and has remained part of Christmas ever since.

What Type Of Wine Is Used In Mulled Wine?

Choose a wine that is low in alcohol (and don't be tempted to spend a lot of money on a bottle). You should buy fruity, low-alcohol Beaujolais, Merlots, and juicy Malbecs; if you want little or no other alcohol, then go for brandy or port wine.

Types Of Mulled Wine

In most countries, mulled wine is made from a particular variety of red wine and includes cinnamon, cloves, and citrus as its primary spices. Other spice variations include ginger, peppercorns, honey, and cardamom.

Swedes make Glogg, which is a fruity red wine mixed with port and then seasoned with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger before topping it off with raisins and slivered almonds. If you don't want to consume alcohol, you can replace it with orange and grape juice.

In Germany, people traditionally drink Gluhwein (Glooh-vine) to celebrate the winter holidays, which is made of red wine, sugar, lemon, cloves, vanilla pods, and cinnamon sticks.

Russia’s Glintwein is similarly as German as the recipe. In Bulgaria, Greyano Vino is red wine that has been heated with honey and peppercorns for a bit of sweetness and spice. Vin brule in Italy involves red wine, honey, oranges, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and juniper berries.

The differences are significant, but the result is the same. A warming drink to enjoy during the cold winter seasons

Where Can I Buy Mulled Wine In India?

Mulled wine is sold in prominent restaurants and hotels across India, and if you do not have access to those, then you can buy it online from Grover Zampa Vineyards (GZV) which has launched One Tree Hill Mulled Wine for Rs 650 for a 750-ml bottle.

 Recipe For Mulled Wine

To make mulled wine at home, you can follow this recipe:


  • 2 bottles of red wine,
  • 120 gm castor sugar,  
  • 4 oranges,  
  • 2 lemons,  
  • 4 tsp vanilla essence, 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks,
  • 6 fresh bay leaves,
  • 10 whole cloves


  • In a saucepan, mix red wine and caster sugar on medium heat.
  • Add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, lemon peel, orange peel, vanilla, and spices to it and stir the ingredients.
  • Keep stirring the ingredients on a low flame for 15 minutes to let the spices infuse.
  • Do not boil the mixture since the alcohol will evaporate. Strain mulled wine into glasses and serve hot.

 Mulled wine is a popular drink that is enjoyed during the holiday season. This festive beverage is a great addition to your festive menu to celebrate Christmas and the New Year and is an easy beverage to make at home.