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Making Mulled Wine

Have you ever heard of mulled wine? This traditional holiday drink was started by the Romans in the 2nd century and carries on today in many countries. During my travels, I learned Iceland bars & restaurants serve this hot beverage during the holidays and it is so yummy! While I was visiting Reykjavik during the Christmas season in 2018 I found an adorable little hole in the wall bar downtown and started chatting with the other patrons. (bonus video at the end- explore the inside of this little pub downtown!) After a few beers, I was offered a mulled wine by a couple of new friends and I decided to take a chance on something I had never tried before. I don’t regret this decision. As soon as the flavorful hot beverage hit my tongue I knew I had found a new holiday tradition to bring home. Mulled wine is usually made with a cheaper red blend wine then heated with spices like clove, cinnamon and star anise. Mine was served with almonds and raisins in the bottom of the glass and garnished with cinnamon sticks and an orange slice. While I was sipping on my mulled wine a parade drove down the small street outside with coca cola trucks and Icelanders walking in sync with the fun holiday music! The Christmas spirit was palatable that evening & the flavor of mulled wine added so much more to my experience!

My mulled wine in Iceland

Ingredients & How to make:

  • 1 bottle of red sweet wine
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 5 star anise
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted almonds (unslated)
  • 3 oranges
  • cinnamon sticks

Pour the bottle of sweet red wine into a deep pot. I use a dryer wine because I don’t like a ton of sugar in my mulled wine but use whatever you enjoy and make it your own! Add all of the spices, raisins & almonds then squeeze the juice out of two and a half oranges into the wine mixture. Set stovetop to medium heat. Stir for about 10 minutes and reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Slice the remaining orange for garnish. Pour into a pint glass or thick wine glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick, orange slice and don’t forget the raisins and almonds in the bottom of the pot, make sure some of them make it into each glass! Enjoy this traditional Icelandic beverage with your friends & family this holiday season.

Until next time!


Bonus Video! This was the inside of the pub serving mulled wine this season!

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