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Portuguese Mulled Wine – A recipe to keep you warm this winter

Cooking 10 min Preparation 5 min 4-6 easy
Recipe type: Cocktail Cuisine: Portuguese

While you ponder an exclusive wine tour through Portugal, take a moment to whip up a delicious cocktail recipe for a taste of Portuguese gastronomy at home!

In Portugal there are a few traditional ways to make mulled wine (vinho quente) when the temperature drops to frigid temperatures. In Porto, port wine is traditionally used, while in the Douro and Minho areas, Madeira wine is also used. The benefit of these fortified wines makes it so that added sugar or honey isn’t required. When Portuguese sweet dessert wines aren’t readily available, Portuguese red wine is a fantastic alternative. This doesn’t have to be an expensive bottle or well-known brand. In fact, a bargain wine will do just fine. Add the sweetness of honey or sugar, strong spices and some gentle heat and the flavors will blend together so well as to elevate the taste without breaking your budget.

Think of it like a warm Spanish sangria, but where sangria is refreshing in the hot summer, vinho quente is a comforting blanket that not only warms you from head to toe, but lulls you into the spirit of the season. A simple sip of this sweet warmth at this year’s holiday festas is sure to bring friends and family together!

Vinho quente (mulled wine) is a warm red wine rich in spices, citrus fruit, and honey or syrup. The Romans were the first to write down this technique in the second century, and then spread it across Europe as they conquered and traded with its people. This is why we often hear about mulled wine in northern European countries, where the winters are harsher, more so than in the south. I’s still enjoyed in the southern countries and throughout the Iberian peninsula as well, and comes with a variety of different recipes that are only limited by the imagination!


  • 1 bottle of Red wine
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 2-3 inch knob of fresh ginger root
  • 1/3 cup honey or sugar


  1. Pour the wine into a large pot and add in the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger root and honey. Stir it well and place on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Allow the wine to heat up until it starts to steam, stirring occasionally to help the honey or sugar dissolve, but don’t let it come to a boil.
  3. Pour the vinho quente into a large pitcher or ladle it directly into mugs and enjoy!
  4. If you like fruit in your vinho quente, feel free to add chunks of apple or pear to give it even more flavor!


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