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British Mulled Wine and Mince Pies

Posted at Foodie Friday

Mulled wine is often drunk around Christmas time in Northern Europe. It's a hot, spiced wine, in France it is known as vin chaud, in Italy as vin brûlé. Germans drink Glühwein. The Swedish name for it is glögg.

Here in Heidelberg, you can buy Glühwein from the Weinachtsmarkt and you get a special Christmas mug to keep. We have 2 from last year and 1 from this year, I've put them up as part of our Christmas decorations.

Here is how you can make it yourself at home and it's real easy. I am going to be making some next week.


Red wine -- 1 (750-ml) bottle
Sugar or honey -- 3 to 5 tablespoons
Cinnamon sticks -- 2 to 4
Cloves -- 4 to 6
Cardamom pods -- 3 to 4
Orange peel -- from 1 orange

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and slowly bring to a simmer over a low flame. Do not boil. Cover and let steep on a very low flame for about 15 minutes.
  2. Strain, ladle into mugs and serve
See, easy. You can adjust the seasoning and sugar to your own taste and also add a few shots of cognac or brandy if you like. It is delicious, I love the stuff.

I was going to put a recipe for mince pies, which are traditional British fare for Christmas. However upon looking at my recipe I realised that the mincemeat (which is not meat) has to be made two weeks in advance. The Brits are lazy and we normally just buy a jar of mincemeat from a local supermarket, I brought some back with me from England this year. Instead I'll give you a link to the recipe, perhaps you can use it next year? Also a link to the history of mince pies because it's quite historically interesting, they date right back to medieval times.

A food post with no photos? I know, I'm a horrible person.

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I am a 24 year old British stay at home mother to a two year old boy. Married to a U.S. soldier and currently living in Germany.

I have seen the Vatican from the very top of St Peter's Basilica, the mud in the World War I trenches outside Ypres. I have walked through Montmartre side streets bustling with people in the evening, gotten lost in the streets of Greenwich Village NYC, run through cornfields on the Welsh border and sat outside with a cup of tea watching fireflies in the fields of the outer Chicago suburbs.

I have held the hands of others through addiction, fear, suicide, despair and come out the other side. I have left everything behind to begin anew.
I have fought mental illness and walked through snow in the mountains of the lake district, England. I have explored the morgue in the bowels of an abandoned hospital on a summer evening, climbed to the top of scaffolding on the outside of a five floor warehouse to look at the city lights of Nottingham at night and I have watched the sun setting on the Texas horizon.

I have held my son's tiny hand through the plastic window on an isolette in the NICU ward. Walked, speaking only in whispers, through the catacombs beneath the ground on the outskirts of Rome and seen the fireworks over Heidelberg castle.