How to make mulled wine in your own kitchen


  • We Love Budapest

  • Gretchen Kessler

12/30/2019 5:23 PM

Forralt bor, glühwein, mulled wine… it goes by many names, but hot spiced wine speaks its own language when the weather gets chilly and you yearn for something warming within.

In Hungary, Christmas markets are swathed in the aroma of steaming forralt bor, brewed in cauldrons to add a little extra magic. But you don't need to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy a nice cup of mulled wine, as the recipe is simple. There are many variations available, so don't be afraid to make a couple of batches and experiment.

Photo: Gretchen Kessler - We Love Budapest

1 bottle wine (dry)
3-4 cinnamon sticks
3-4 star anise pods
3-4 cloves
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
sugar (to taste)
optional: other spices, fruit juice, fruit pieces, etc

The beginning of any good forralt bor is the bor. A dry red wine is usually recommended, as you will add other sweeteners along the way. However, white or rosé can also be used, according to preference.

Photo: Hartyányi Norbert - We Love Budapest

Begin by bringing 180ml of water to the boil with 100 grammes of sugar, the cinnamon sticks and other spices. These can include cloves, ginger and star anise. Adventurous types can even add coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, rosemary or black pepper, to add some zing. Some spice shops sell forralt bor mixes, if you prefer to leave the decision-making to the professionals. Whichever method you prefer, let the mixture boil until it reduces. Those with a sweet tooth might want to add more sugar.

Photo: Gretchen Kessler - We Love Budapest

Add in the orange and lemon zests, and pour in the wine, but be sure not to let it boil. At this point, you may also choose to include some fruit in your brew like apples, pears, raspberries or blackberries. Some recipes call for cutting a couple of oranges in half and dropping the whole thing in. Want even more flavour? Consider some black tea or fruit tea, as well as lemon, orange or other fruit juice. Allow the wine to heat until the steam rises, stirring occasionally.

And that's it! Serve your homemade mulled wine in your favourite Christmas mug, and invite the neighbours over to share in the cheer. Egészségedre!

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