Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a glass or two of mulled wine, but if you’re spending Christmas in Spain this year (or simply want to introduce a touch of Spanish flair into your traditional festive fayre) then why not consider experimenting with a beautiful Spanish mulled wine recipe instead?
Here’s everything you need to know about mulled wine, and a fail-safe recipe that you simply won’t be able to resist:
The History of Mulled Wine
Mulled wine is an ancient drink, which was first produced by the Romans in the 2nd Century, who took to heating their wine to help them get through the long and cold winter months. As the Roman empire grew, the practice of drinking heated wine during the winter months spread across Europe. During the Middle Ages, when they believed that herbs and spices could help to ward off illness and disease, these were added to the warm wine and it became much closer to the mulled wine that we know and love today.
The way we drink mulled wine today, and our common perception of it, comes from Victorian England. It was at this point that mulled wine became a traditional Christmas drink, and Charles Dickens even included reference to it in A Christmas Carol, which further solidified the relationship between mulled wine and Christmas. This link has happily continued to this day!
Mulled Wine in Spain
Although mulled wine is typically enjoyed in colder European countries, and this is where we think of mulled wine being served, mulled wine is also a traditional holiday season drink in Spain, particularly in León and Castilla. The recipe for mulled wine that is made in Spain is very similar to the one that is enjoyed across the rest of Europe. In Spain, this drink is known as vino caliente and anecdotally, many Spanish families have warm memories of drinking this delicious warm and filling beverage during their Christmas get togethers. You may also find this being served on the traditional Spanish Christmas markets, although not as prevalently is it might be on a Christmas market in France or Germany.
Our Favourite Spanish Mulled Wine Recipe
To make a liter of mulled wine with a decidedly Spanish flavour, you will need;
- 1 750cl bottle of rich Spanish red wine (choose this using your personal taste and budget)
- 250cl of freshly pressed orange juice
- 2 shots of aguardiente (clear or herb flavoured)
- 1/2 cup muscovado or soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsps honey
- 1 spice bag (if you don’t have a spice bag, you can use a clean white cloth)
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp of coriander seeds
- 6 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 pieces star anise
- Thumbnail-sized piece of peeled fresh ginger
Step 1: Dissolve the sugar, and honey in the orange juice and aguardiente. Place in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, until the solution takes on a syrupy consistency.
Step 2: Place all of the spices into the spice bag, and add to the pan, along with the full bottle of wine.
Step 3: Heat the mixture in the pan at a low temperature, but do not allow it to reach a boil.
Step 4: Remove the spice bag and pour the Spanish-style mulled wine into glass mugs or tin cups. Mulled wine should be served immediately, whilst it’s hot.
Step 5: If you’re serving the wine for a special occasion, add a slice of orange or a cinnamon stick to create an attractive garnish.
If you’re socialising outside this Christmas, then mulled wine is a great holiday drink option, allowing you to indulge in some festive cheer whilst keeping warm at the same time. Because mulled wine is so cheap and easy to produce (particularly if you choose to use a full bodied, inexpensive Spanish wine to create the recipe) it is also an ideal choice for holiday parties or family gatherings. And if you’re spending Christmas in a smaller family group this year? Don’t worry, just half the recipe and it will make enough mulled wine for two adults (of course you can always double or even triple the recipe if you’re serving a bigger group).
Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Or perhaps you’re looking for a Spanish holiday home, so that you have somewhere warm and sunny to spend next Christmas? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams.