It is called Gløgg (pronounced “glurgg”) in Norway. Vin chaud in France. Glühwein in Germany. Vin brulé in Italy (search me why they use French words…). And Kuhano vino in Croatia.
Warm wine, cooked wine, burnt wine, hot wine. Whatever you call it. It’s delicious. It’s mulled wine!
Mulled wine is an amazing treat that I was first introduced to in Paris while walking around the markets last Christmas time. It was freezing cold (especially for a California girl), and I kept seeing signs for Vin chaud. It looked like a hot drink, and I was cold. I figured out that vin was vine, and I saw a Santa Claus take a break and grab a cup. So of course, I figured, Santa knows what’s delicious, so I’ll try some. I was delighted that it kept my hands warm while walking around the shops, but I was even more happy to find that I really enjoyed the spices in the wine. If you’ve never had mulled wine, think of spices in mulled apple cider over hot wine.
Although this was my first time having mulled wine, turns out that pretty much every country has figured out that this is an awesome idea. I guess since my southern California winters never got much colder than 60°F during the daytime, we had no use for a hot drink like this. But for the folks on the east coast, consider making this for you, your friends, and your family on cold nights.
I decided to make mulled wine this year after reading about Scandanavian Christmas traditions. It is very standard to make or buy mulled wine, or Glögg, on Christmas day. So this year, we tried it! It wasn’t an overwhelming winner with my family until it cooled down. It was described as too intense or too aromatic when it was hot. (But I thought it was great hot!) However, the overwhelming consensus was that it was best once it cooled down. If you make it, make sure to let us know what you think!
Directions for Mulled Wine: Find a large bottle of relatively inexpensive wine. One liter makes enough for six people, so scale up or down accordingly. I made 1 L of mulled wine from YellowTail Shiraz. We picked the YellowTail brand because it is tasty wine without breaking the bank. It’s also Australian, so it’s like Suz is that much closer to home! The Shiraz ended up being perfect because it is already a bit fruity, but any red ought to do. Pour the wine into a heavy pot and start heating on very low heat.
Next you’ll want to gather your spices. We cheated and used a mulling blend from Williams-Sonoma®. This particular blend has cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, cinnamon oil, and orange oil. All you have to do is tie it in cheesecloth or put the spices in a large tea infuser. We also got these cool reusable bags from Williams-Sonoma®.
I know Trader Joe’s also sells mulling spices pre-prepared, but if don’t want to go out of your way to buy them, just tie a few cinnamon sticks, whole allspice, and whole cloves in a cheesecloth square. In the end, you want 2 tablespoons of spices to 1 L of wine. Once you have your spice bag ready, add it to the wine.
We also added a few extra rinds from an orange. Just use a potato peeler to get off the orange rind.
Lastly, add 1/3 to 1/2 C of sugar or honey. This will help keep the wine sweet as it gets hot. Stir well with a ladle to combine. And that’s pretty much it! Simmer on low heat for up to 20 minutes.
Serve the Gløgg in mugs. You can garnish them with cinnamon sticks or a twist of orange rind if you like. If your family and friends also think the wine is too intense, you can pour the wine over ice to make a mulled wine cooler.
We had the Gløgg with the pumpkin pie I had made earlier in the day. We even got to use my Mom’s new Christmas themed pie crust cutters to make a little scene on the pie.