The origin

of mulled wine

August Josef Ludwig von Wackerbarth
We don't quite know if August Josef Ludwig von Wackerbarth invented mulled during a cold winter day in order to heat himself up ... Spiced wines werent unusual at that time but were drunk cold. Mr von Wackerbarth certainly prepared a hot, strongly spiced white wine for himself on 11 December 1843, noted the ingredients with great pleasure - and left us the oldest traditional mulled wine recipe in Germany: "Add per litre of wine the following ingriediens: four Loth cinnamon, two Loth ginger, one Loth anise, one Loth pomegranate, one Loth nutmeg, one Loth cardamom and one Gran saffron, to be sweetened with sugar or honey." Henriette Davidis, Germany's most famous chef, was a little more restrained regarding mulled wine and suggests a different method in her book Praktisches Kochbuch (Practical Cookbook), published in 1845. “
Reliable and self-tested recipes of the ordinary and finer cuisine: "You put ½ bottle of good red wine with 2 or 3 cloves and some cinnamon covered on the stove, sweeten it by taste and let it boil for 2-3 minutes. It is served in glasses after being poured through a sieve." first finished mulled wine was launched on the market around hundred years later. Rudolf Kunzmann added spices and sugar to wine in his small one-man winery near Augsburg, bottled it and sold it as mulled wine nn the winter of 1956. At that time, however, the addition of sugar was considered a violation of the wine law (which changed a few years later) and Mr. Kunzmann was initially heavily finedfor his success. The penalty notice of the police office still exists today and proudly mentiones the winery of Kunzmann as one of the first wineries bottling a mulled wine.
Henriette Davidis
A "Winzerglühwein" (winery mulled wine) however can only be made of grape alcohol from the wineries vineyard produced in the wineries cellar. Stretching mulled wine with water or juices is prohibited. Only natural sugars may be added for sweetening.
Mulled wine
Mulled wines are often offered "with a shot", correctly translated as a punch, which was very popular in Germany 150 years before the invention of Mr von Wackerbarth`s mulled wine. In the 17th century English sailors brought a drink to Europe, which they got to know in India under the name "Pantsch" meaning "five" in Hindu indicating that it is made with five ingredients, namely arrack, sugar, lemons, tea and spices. Soon afterwards it made its way into Germany. In 1735, it was turned into "Puntsch" in the Great Complete Universal Lexicon of All Creatives and Arts and was described as a "strong drink of brandy, water, sugar, bitter orange juice and nutmeg". From 1764 Mozart chose punch as his favourite drink. In a cookbook from 1903, the following punch recipe is found: "Rub the yellow of 4 lemons with sugar, add 8 grams of black tea and lemon juice into 1.5 liters of boiling water. Now pour the tea through a sieve into a pan, add the sugar on which the lemons were rubbed on and pour ¼ litres of arrak into it. Cover the punch and keep it over the fire until it boils. Then it is immediately poured through a napkin into the punch terrine and served." Nowadays the Arrak - not to be confused with the Arabic aniseed schnapps Arak - is usually replaced by rum, brandy or other spirits.
fire tong punch
The legendary Feuerzangenbowle is also a punch - for whatever reason it was named "Bowle", which is actually a well chilled drink. Originally, sugar was produced in large, extremely hard chunks, which had to be laboriously crushed before use. But witzh the Feuerzangenbowle these pieces were packed, soaked with rum and ignited. The special flavour of the Feuerzangenbowle comes from the fact that the sugar melts slowly and then develops a caramel-like taste.
Let's have a quick look at the Nordic version of a punch - Glögg, which is very popular not only in Scandinavia but all around the world. Red wine is properly "stretched" with rum, brandy, aquavit or vodka and spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves. Raisins and peeled almonds are served, which are added to the Glögg, so that you also have something to nibble on. With this small excursion to the far north we end our little journey through the history of mulled wine and its hot relatives.
Glögg - Swedish mulled wines