The Mulling Spices Tradition
It seems that the match between cold weather and hot wine is as ancient as the Romans themselves. First recorded in the 2nd century, mulled wine was a treat Roman soldiers sipped during long cold days spent conquering Europe. That legacy continues today as nearly every country in the continent has a tradition of heating, sweetening, and sipping wine during winter — and particularly at the holidays.
In northern countries, they add vodka to the combination of spices and wine, and call it “glogg.” In France, they use honey instead of sugar and serve it on the slopes. Elsewhere, they like it almost like a chai drink from India, full of peppercorns and cloves, star anise and allspice.