If you’ve ever been to Europe in the winter time, one of the most exciting things about the holiday season is going to a Christmas market and trying lots of yummy hot dishes, such as spicy sausage in Zagreb or goulash in Budapest. And nothing warms the soul better than a glass of hot mulled wine on a chilly, snowy night. Depending on the region, there are a number of different names for it; in Hungary they call it forralt bor; in Holland it’s glühwein; in France it’s simply vin chaud. The next time you throw a holiday party at home, try making one of these four delicious mulled wine recipes.
1. Hungarian Forralt Bor
The literal translation of the Hungarian term for mulled wine is actually “boiled wine,” but of course you don’t want to boil wine, otherwise there won’t be much alcohol left! The key to making forralt bor is to slowly heat up the wine while adding the right ingredients. The Hungarian version of mulled winecombines a red wine such as 3 Rings Shiraz with honey, whole cinnamon sticks and cloves, allspice, orange, and brandy such as Hartley VSOP for an extra sweet kick. You can find the mulled wine recipe for Budapest-style forralt bor here.
2. Croatian Kuhano Vino
Croatia’s version of mulled wine recipe is a warm and comforting drink for a cold night during the holidays. A cherry-red merlot such as the Alias Merlot is a good base to start with. Combine it with whole cloves, peppercorns, star anise, honey, grated nutmeg, and orange slices. It should have a nice peppery kick to waken up the senses from the cold. You can find the recipe for Zagreb-style kuhano vino here.
3. French Vin Chaud
Paris gets pretty cold during the winter, so it’s no surprise that the French have invented a warm wine tipple for those frosty nights. Your favorite red wine, such as the Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is a good wine to use for vin chaud, which means “hot wine.” Mix sugar, fresh vanilla bean, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks, as well as star anise with red wine for a delectable hot drink. You can find the recipe for Paris-style vin chaud here.
4. Dutch Glühwein
Around the time Sinteklaas (as Santa Claus is known in The Netherlands) is stacking his sleigh with presents, towns all over Holland decorate their front yards, canals, and the boats in their canals with pretty lit candles on a night called Kaarsjesavond. Throngs of families and couples walk around admiring the different light displays, eat stroopwafels, and drink lots and lots of glühwein. The Dutch mulled wine recipe is not that much different from the others, with the usual mix of spices such as cloves and nutmeg, plus orange slices and honey to sweeten. One thing that makes it quite different, however, is a splash of port wine, such as Dow’s Ruby Port, to give it a nice kick. You can find the recipe for Amsterdam-style glühwein here.