Mulled wine is a most traditional drink and has been around for a long, long time in various guises around Europe. The word “mulled” simply means heated and spiced. Any liquid can be mulled, cider for instance is another favourite of mine, but mulled wine is provably the best known.
It was without a doubt a Victorian delight so much so that a Negus, was served to children although probably without the full alcoholic content. In fact Negus is mentioned Negus in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Mansfield Park; A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Dombey and Son, The Pickwick Papers, Bleak House and other popular novels of the Era.
Ingredients: To every pint of port wine, allow 1 quart of boiling water, ¼ lb of sugar, 1 lemon and grated nutmeg to taste.
Method: Put the wine into a jug, rub some lumps of sugar (equal to ¼ lb) on the lemon rind until all the yellow part of the skin is absorbed, then squeeze the juice and strain it. Add the sugar and lemon-juice to the port wine with the grated nutmeg; pour over it the boiling water, cover the jug, and, when the beverage has cooled a little, it will be fit for use. Mrs Beeton Book of Household Management 1861
You can buy mulled wine, pre-mulled but I would definitely advise against this as it is fairly disgusting, loses its essence has a tendency to be sweet and sickly and tends to be an affront to humanity!
Boil a pint of wine with nutmeg, cloves, and sugar, serve it with slices of toasted bread or, beat up the yolks of four eggs with a little cold wine, and mix them carefully with the hot wine, pour it backwards and forwards till it looks fine, heat it again over the fife till it is tolerably thick, pour it backwards and forwards, and serve with toasted bread as above.
Or, Boil some spice in a little water till the flavour is extracted, and then add a pint of port wine; with some sugar and nutmeg.