Mulled Wine (Glögi, Glühwein) is a warm, spiced wine beverage thought to date back to Greek or Roman times called Hippocras. In modern times the beverage goes back to the Scandinavian Glögi, a spiced liquor that was used to warm messengers and travelers in the cold winter months as they travelled around the countryside.
The standardization of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and orange peels come from Glögi as well. The inclusion of almonds and raisins were seen in Glögi from time to time as well, and all the aforementioned items were steeped in the warm liquid and strained off before serving.
In the 19th century, Glögi began being mixed with wine, and the beverage’s history came full circle. In modern times, we spice and use red wine, apple cider, and finish with a bit of Port as opposed to a spiced liquor being introduced to the wine or juice as they did in the past and therein lies the differences between Glögi and Mulled Wine.
We always recommend garnishing with a cinnamon stick, both for flavor and presentation purposes, but it is not completely necessary if you aren’t a fan of cinnamon. We just can’t get enough this time of year.