Mulled wine to warm up the holidays

[ARCHIVE originally published during Holidays, 2010; ’tis a timeless subject]

 Fa lala! ‘Tis the season for mulled wines

 Mulled wine is a wine – usually red – that’s heated with spices and citrus fruits. It has been a British holiday-time warmer for centuries.
     ’Tis said to have been the favored beverage among “wassailers,” or carolers, who went door to door during the festive and cold season. Offering them such a tasty quaff warmed their vocal chords, and their spirits.
     Many families enjoyed their own recipes, and made mulled wine to keep them warm while they had private holiday celebrations and while they entertained.
     Each family surely passed their mulled wine recipes through generations. Yet the first mulled wine recipe to be published is said to have appeared in “Mrs. Beeton’s Book of House Management,” published in 1869. This book was a guide to running a Victorian Britain household.
     Today, folks in Britain still enjoy mulled wine as part of the Christmas time tradition.
     Mulled wine is enjoyed at public celebrations like the outdoor Dickens Christmas Market, on the Rochester Castle grounds in Kent County, England, December 3rd-19th. Visitors may purchase mulled wine in mugs that show the Christmas market logo.
     Folks in Manchester, England may visit the ‘Big Top Bar,’ at the Victorian Fair held in Piccadilly Garden, December 9th-January 3rd. The Bar theme throughout December is “Bah Humbug!” Mugs of delicious, steaming mulled wine are available.
     This is the “best Christmas mulled wine,” according to the caterers who present it. Visitors may try for themselves by bellying up to the “Bah Humbug!” bar.
     Or make it for themselves,with this recipe:

‘Best Christmas Mulled Wine’
courtesy of KRO catering

Good Quality red wine
Juice of 2 oranges
a little fresh ginger
sprinkles of … (to taste):
—Soft brown sugar
And as much Cointreau as you dare!

Heat to 30-35 degrees C, or 85-95 degrees F.

Festival information : 
Dickens Christmas MarketVictorian Fair

*Update 2016: the Dickens Christmas Fair website reflects past Fairs, and the Victorian Fair website is no longer active. Both events are bygone.
     However, plenty of public holiday events include serving mulled wine. For example Christkindlmarket in Chicago, Illinois, that is open annually Thanksgiving–Christmas Eve.      Do you know of any holiday events that have mulled wine available? If so, please share!

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