A Winter Classic: Mulled Wine


mulled wine

This sweet and spicy alcoholic beverage is an ultimate favorite all over Europe during the winter season. Most of the times it is made of red wine, but the white wine versions are not rare neither.

Where can you find mulled wine in Budapest during winter? Everywhere. As the Christmas markets are closed in Budapest from the beginning of the new year, it does not mean that this wonderful drink is gone. Hungarians are wine drinkers, and we do like to comfort ourselves with mulled wine during the cold winter days. One of my personal favorite mulled wine place is Kelet Cafe. The caramelized sugar, spices, cardamom are the base of the syrup, it absorbs really well the green apple slices’ flavor, and creates a wonderful taste to the mulled wine. Bordó Bisztró also focuses on wintertime drinks: not only mulled wine but several kinds of punches are offered to warm up your body. Cook Kapitány is new on my list for their mulled wine. The one I have tasted was well seasoned, and had no lack of alcohol.

So, what is a proper mulled wine like?

The seasoning is balanced, not too sweet, but not too sour neither. You need to taste the alcohol in it, but it should not have an overwhelmingly strong alcoholic flavor. The fragrance and taste is in sweet harmony, makes you just want more. The quality of the wine is not necessary the best, an average (1000-2000 HUF) Hungarian wine is perfect. Do not make the mulled wine boil, as the alcohol evaporates quickly, just keep it warm, and enjoy until it lasts!

spices for mulled wine

Ingredients for mulled wine:

– 5 dl water

– 6 cloves

-2 cinnamon sticks

– 10 dkg sugar

– 5 star anis

– 1 orange

-1 lemon

-5 dl red wine

From the spices and the water, make a sugar syrup. Add half of the orange cut in pieces, and the other half squeze into the syrup. Do the same with the lemon. When the syrup is ready, add the wine, turn off the fire, and cover it.

Try your own version of mulled wine! You can add different seasonings (like pepper, chili, cardamom) and fruits (berries or apple) as well.


To taste  and learn more about the Hungarian wines please join one of our walking tours or wine tastings!

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