Is mulled wine really good for our health?

The cold, the markets and the Christmas lights have been installed in the city. the occasion of warm up with a glass of mulled wine, or glühwein, accompanied by a good gingerbread. Beyond comfort, this alcoholic beverage can do our body good.

Origin: where does mulled wine come from?

The winter star drink was born under the Roman Empire to help digestion. So we talked about Paradoxical condition. The recipe included not only wine, but also honey, pepper, bay leaf, nuts and dates. In the middle Ages, spices are gradually becoming more democratic : Cinnamon and cloves add to the recipe. Its use is not intended to enhance the wine, but to improve its preservation and mask its oxidized taste. Then, many ingredients gradually join the party, such as citrus and cardamom. In particular, tradition has gained the countries of the north and the countries of the east. In France he has conquered the Christmas markets and has established himself in tradition.

What is gluhwein?

Glühwein is the Germanic version of mulled wine. According to tradition, some liquor can be added to enhance its flavor (blueberry, raspberry or apricot liqueur), gin, amaretto or rum. The German recipe can also deviate from the original: sometimes a rum-soaked sugar stick is placed on top of the glass, lit and waited for everything to melt in the glass (Feuerzangenbowle).

Why drink mulled wine?

Mulled wine is popular for its taste, but also for its health benefits. is in particular rich in vitamins (when orange is added), organic acids, mineral salts and yeasts. In detail, the honey it contains is known for its softening, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon and cloves are known for their antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to cinnamon stimulates the immune system and limits fatigue, while nails have analgesic virtues (anti pain).

Be careful, this drink does not only have benefits!

“But if alcohol can have disinfectant properties, it has significant negative side effects,” warns Dr. Jean-Christophe Nogrette, a general practitioner and deputy secretary general of the union of general practitioners in France (MG France). He insists:

Mulled wine recipes vary greatly, but the important thing is to consume it in moderation. In case of infectious pathology it is better to avoid alcohol in all its forms.

In fact, mulled wine and punch can give a false sense of comfort : Alcohol dilates blood vessels which actually promotes heat loss. Body temperature drops half a degree for every 50 grams of alcohol consumed, recalls the Anpaa (National Association for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Addictions). Also, alcohol accelerates dehydrationalso accentuated by the cold.

What ingredients for a winter mulled wine?

The red wine recipe varies according to individual tastes and preferences. This iconic drink traditionally contains:

  • 75cl of wine;
  • 100 g brown cane sugar or brown sugar (or classic powdered sugar, if necessary);
  • the juice and zest of one orange;
  • two cardamom seed kernels;
  • two nails;
  • optionally half a vanilla pod.

For the “decoration”, according to your tastes, you can add:

  • two orange slices;
  • one or two cinnamon sticks (or ground cinnamon, if available);
  • A pinch of nutmeg;
  • and one or two star anise (star anise).

White or red: what is the best wine to make mulled wine at Christmas?

Mulled wine is a relatively fruity drink that is based on a red wine like Gamay or Merlot, neither too tannic nor too powerful. Between us, it doesn’t make sense to go for a wine that is too prestigious, like Château Petrus, since the wine will warm up.

But like all traditional drinks, there are many variations. The Swedes, for example, use white wine. The Poles add honey to it, while the Swedes prefer maple syrup.

How to use :

  • We start by pouring the wine into a saucepan with the sugar. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes.without ever boiling it.
  • Then add the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and vanilla.
  • Don’t forget the orange juice and zest. Boil for four minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for twenty-four hours.
  • Reheat and filter before serving. If you like, consider garnishing each cup with star anise, cinnamon stick, and orange slice. Good tasting!

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