Christmas in France France

Mulled wine: which recipe?

Mulled wine is a must at Christmas markets. It can be famous when it's well made, and Monsieur de France will give you this recipe, along with tips and tricks for making a good mulled wine to enjoy at home.


Mulled wine is good

and it's old!


The Romans were already making it. At the time of Christ's birth, 2,000 years ago, people were drinking "conditum paradoxum", a wine into which the Romans put honey before boiling it and adding saffron, bay leaves and even pepper. They drank it with dates. In the Middle Ages, it was considered a medicine, with the doctor Arnaud de Villeneuve giving a recipe in the 12th century. At the English Court, it was served to keep fit. Similarly, hypocras, a mixture of wine and sugar, was considered a healing drink by people in the Middle Ages. It has to be said that wine was far from being as good and stable as it is today, and a lot of things had to be added to it to make it taste good. From the end of the 19th century, it was served at Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. Alsace was German at the time, so mulled wine was also made there. The tradition has survived and spread from Alsace to the whole of France.


The making of hypocras. Illustration chosen by wikipedia.

The making of hypocras. Illustration chosen by wikipedia.



Hot wines around the world


Mulled wine is not exclusive to France, far from it. It can be made in many different ways:

  • Bulgarian style: honey, apples and lemon or orange are added to the wine.
  • Moldavian style: with honey... And pepper!
  • Swedish style: Vodka and brandy are added to the classic spices of cardamom, ginger and cloves.
  • Polish style: beer instead of wine.


Warning: alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Drink in moderation.



Mulled wine recipe


 VadimVasenin via depositphotos


The ingredients


  • 1.5 litres of light red wine
  • 1 orange
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 2 star anise (or star anise).
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 piece of ginger, not too large
  • A little grated nutmeg
  • 200 grams brown sugar.


The process


  1. Put the wine in a saucepan
  2. Add the spices
  3. Boil the wine
  4. Add the grated nutmeg
  5. Leave to simmer for a good 5 minutes
  6. Strain the wine through a filter





Choose a wine that's not too tannic (rather Merlot or Gamay, Loire wines...). The wine must be good to drink. Bad wine makes bad mulled wine. Wine should be good to drink. Bad wine makes bad mulled wine.

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.