Mulled wine has been a part of European heritage for centuries. In fact, many do not realize that the Romans dranked warm spiced wine in the second Century.
Today, spiced mulled wine is the official beverage of the German Christmas markets. In Germany, you can find alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions (kinderpunsch = kids punch). The oldest version of the wine is attributed to Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen, a German nobleman who was the first grower of Reisling grapes.
It is common to find spiced white wine, but Germans mostly serve red wine. Living in Hannover was a dream, and so was the spiced wine.
My favorite were the flavored wines served in the medieval market. Flavors range from blueberry to apple. Each one unique, and some I liked more than others. But, apple certainly tickled my fancy.
The spiced apple wine is what inspired this recipe.
Gluhwein keeps the winter soul warm, merry and cheerful for one of the most festive seasons in the west. My favorite moments were collecting Christmas cards from antique shops and flea markets across Europe. The Hannover markets sold some, but The Salzburg Weihnachtsmarkt museum sold plenty of older prints, including Krampus.
We also made a habit of collecting a different gluhwein cup from each Christmas market.
Bringing the old traditions to the modern world, I believe is important to remember (and appreciate) what knowledge our ancestors brought to this world. So if you don't own a modern-day crock pot, no worries, you can simmer this on low heat on the stove.
Do not boil the wine as this changes the flavor and properties of wine. However you'd like to drink it, be careful with piping hot wine in a glass. Although glasses show the pretty purple-red hues, a mug is necessary so you don't burn your hand.
Slower Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine (Heißen Glühwein)
Cook Time: 5 Hours
2 bottles of Merlot
1 lemon, juiced (put half of the juiced lemon in the crock pot)
1 small navel orange, juiced
1 small navel orange, sliced
2 cups apple juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 inch knob of ginger (slice off skin)
8 whole cloves
4 allspice berries
2/3 cup cane sugar
Prep the ingredients as stated above. Place all the ingredients into the crockpot. Cover the pot with the lid. Use the 10 hour cook time setting. Cook in the crock pot for 5 hours.
If you do not have a crock pot, you can mull the wine on low heat on the stove. Do not let the wine boil.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com