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Victorian Mulled Wine

The basic idea behind mulled wines goes back to the Middle Ages, but what we know as mulled wines can be traced back to the Victorian Era. It was here that combinations of spices, citrus, and red wine were used to create drinks that we’d not only recognize as mulled wine, but would find familiar in taste as well.

Still, Victorian mulled wines were a little different from the current versions.


Victorian Mulled Wine Ingredients

Main Ingredients

2 bottles red wine

1/2 cup sugar

4 cinnamon sticks

fresh ginger root, approximately 2 inches

cloves to taste (around a half dozen is good to start with)

1 orange (for zesting)

Ingredient Notes

Use a dry, robust, fruity red wine for best results

You can substitute allspice for the ginger, if necessary

Victorian Mulled Wine Preparation

Equipment Needed

Medium saucepan


Spoon for stirring

Tip: saucepan should be made from nonractive metal — aluminum pans will react with the acids in the red wine, creating a metallic taste in your mulled win.

Preparation Time

10 minutes to prepare the ingredients

15 minutes to heat the wine

5 minutes to serve

Making Victorian Mulled Wine

Victorian Mulled Wine Recipe

Zest the orange

Peel and slice the ginger into small pieces

Pour red wine into the saucepan, put stove on medium heat

Add the spices

Tip: don’t let the mulled wine reach boiling! Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, so if your mulled wine starts to boil then you’re already losing a lot of alcohol.

Serving Victorian Mulled Wine

Ladle the mulled wine into mugs

Put a strainer over the mugs to catch bits of spices

Add an extra cinnamon stick for garnish, if desired

Tip: use heated mugs to keep your mulled wine warm


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