(Fethiye) Mulled Wine Recipe – Christmas In A Cup

Freezing cold December nights in Manchester city centre – and all of them made toasty, comforting and festive by the sight of a series of wooden huts in the square, softly lit and packed with handmade goodies, European foods…and stalls with huge simmering cauldrons of spiced, hot, red wine. A small deposit paid for the mug, an extra bit of cash should you want a shot of rum or brandy – and that was it; standing amongst the packed crowds with a comforting cup of alcoholic spice known in European market circles as glühwein – mulled wine to us Brits.

Gloved hands wrapped around the mug to soak in every bit of warmth on offer, that little shot of alcoholic heat creeping into the body and then we were good to go; ready to join another long queue for a pricey – but essential – bratwurst. All part of the Christmas market experience.

Christmas Pomander In Fethiye, Turkey

Oranges and cloves – great for festive decoration as well as mulled wine ingredients

For us, there’s no other drink that makes you feel quite as festive as a steaming hot cup of fruity, spicy red wine. And, fortunately for us, sıcak şarap (or mulled wine, as we know it in Blighty) is now popular in the bars of Fethiye over winter – of course, we’ve been known to enjoy the odd one just to warm ourselves up on arrival.

This time of year sees Christmas markets sprouting up all over Europe, and, one day, we’d love to visit one of those northern European ones – you know, the ones that look like they’re out of a fairytale. We’ll make it one day, but for now, we’re happy to partake in a sıcak şarap in a Fethiye bar – or, even better, make our own at home. This is the time of year that sees our biggest pan on the hob, bubbling away and filling the room with the smell of Christmas!

Whether you call it glühwein, mulled wine or sıcak şarap (hot wine), this time of year just isn’t the same without it. We’ve got all of our ingredients ready – because oranges and cloves are useful for more than just a mulled wine recipe (as you can see above), and we’ve actually kicked off our mulled wine season already, too! Well, it all contributes to getting oneself into the festive spirit.

Our (Fethiye) Mulled Wine Recipe – Sıcak Şarap

Mmm, you’ll notice we’ve called our mulled wine recipe ‘Fethiye Mulled Wine.’ Well, we are in Fethiye, after all, and we do like to keep things local, so we’ll be adding a couple of local seasonal ingredients to our festive drink.

Mulled Wine Or Sıcak Şarap

No apologies for the holly frame. It’s Christmas!

Do not fear; you’ll still be able to make this mulled wine in the UK or other countries where you’re reading from. None of the ingredients are exclusive to Fethiye; they’re just in season here, right now.

And the main thing to point out is, this mulled wine recipe is easy. There is no need to go off to the supermarket to buy mulled wine sachets. Where’s the fun in that? You just need a few ingredients, mix them together in a pan, heat them up and the result is festive, winter comfort in a cup (never a glass, for us – a glass doesn’t say winter).

Let’s Make Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine Recipe - Christmas In A Cup
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: European
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
What it says in the title - this mulled wine recipe is just Christmas in a cup.
  • 1 litre bottle red wine
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Juice of 1 pomegranate
  • 1 dessert spoonful Fethiye honey
  • 1 dessert spoonful brown sugar
  • 50 ml brandy or dark rum (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves, crushed
  • Small pinch crushed coriander seeds
  1. Pour the full bottle of wine into a large saucepan.
  2. Add the orange juice and the pomegranate juice.
  3. Now add your spices, honey and sugar.
  4. Give everything a stir.
  5. Place a lid on the pan and slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat.
  6. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  7. Leave the lid on the pan and allow the mulled wine to stand for around 5 minutes to allow all your flavours to infuse.
  8. Now take a cup, place a sieve over it, and ladle your mulled wine into the cup.
  9. Don't forget to serve some to your friends, too!
The brandy / rum is optional but adds extra heat and spicy flavour to your mulled wine. Of course measurement are optional and you can add more or less, depending on your preferences.
If you don't have a cupboard filled with spices, you can use a level teaspoon of allspice instead of the cinnamon and cloves.

And that’s our (Fethiye) mulled wine recipe. So, what about this Fethiye connection? Well, we love our seasonal food around these parts and December is definitely citrus season when the lemons, tangerines, mandalinas and oranges are bursting forth and the market stalls are packed with them. Pomegranates are coming to the end of their prime but are still good for juicing. And what food is Fethiye really famous for? Fethiye honey, of course.

So there you have it; a perfect excuse to make our mulled wine recipe – a Fethiye version of mulled wine. And, as for the addition of brandy or dark rum – your mulled wine will still taste great without either of those…but it’s the festive season, it’s winter, and we’re all allowed a little indulgent treat every now and then, aren’t we? As for us, we’ll be putting a few cold meats and cheeses on a plate with a generous side serving of homemade chutney and that’ll do as a perfect mulled wine accompaniment.

Şerefe and Afiyet Olsun!

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  1. Mulled wine is very popular in Sweden, it calls Glögg. I like your website! Merry Christmas! 🙂

  2. A very happy holiday!

  3. @ fotoala: I’ve seen that word before. Are the ingredients the same? Thank you for your lovely comment and Merry Christmas. 🙂

    @ Belinda: Same to you! Have a good one.

  4. Wish found your blog before I took my husband’s family on a Blue Tour last year.

    Seems like you are enjoying your time in Turkey 🙂 My husband kept looking at the real estate agencies when we were in Gocek last year. Maybe one day 🙂

  5. Have a good xmas and all the best for the new year. MBS01

  6. looking forward to catching up on your posts- hope you had a great Christmas and will have an even better New Year!!

  7. @ Ilke: Loving our time in Turkey, thanks. Glad that shows in the blog. Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

    @MBS01: Thanks a lot and you, too. 🙂

    @ Anjuli: Same to you. We’re looking forward to a good 2012! 🙂

  8. Marie-Claude says

    I hope you had a nice Christmas day. Thank you for the recipe of sicak sarap !

  9. @Marie-Claude: We had a lovely day thanks. Hope yours was good, too. The sıcak şarap was lovely. 😉

  10. Thanks for the recipe!
    Hope you’ve had a very merry Christmas!!!

  11. @ Andrew Graeme Gould: We had a great Christmas, thanks. Hope you did, too.

  12. As fotoala said in the very first response, we call it Glögg in Sweden. But what about Turkish wine in general? I love bringing home a bottle or local red, wherever I happen to be, but Turkey isn’t known for its wine and I don’t want to repeat any mistakes I’ve already made by closing my eyes and choosing. Do you have some favourites you can recommend or do you know somewhere I can find an appraisal of Turkish wines?

  13. Hi Fagel, love to know about different words for mulled wine. 🙂 This article we’re giving you the link for is 4 years old but interesting, nonetheless. Charles Metacalfe is one of Britain’s most famous wine tasters/critics and knows his stuff (but clearly doesn’t know too much about Turkey, itself. 😉 ). Since this article, however, Turkey broke the world record (at the London International Wine Fair) for most awards won at one fair – they won 150 medals. Turkish wine is really on the up but the problem here in Turkey is government taxes so the nice ones that we tend to like soon become very pricey. If they become available abroad, they’ll probably be really cheap like Chilean wines used to be.
    The ones we buy often – for a reasonably priced red wine that we like to drink with food or at weekends – are wines from companies, Pamukkale, Idol and Kayra. That’s because their wines tend to be a dark red rather than transparent and they do taste slightly thicker.
    Here’s the link: http://www.charlesmetcalfe.com/discovering-the-wines-of-turkey.en.aspx

  14. Hello! My wife comes from Slovakia: Mulled wine = Varené víno.
    Thank you for the link! I will be keeping my eyes wide open for your suggestions – Pamukkale, Idol and Kayra. 8 more days and counting …..

    • Ha ha, thanks! Building up a language collection, here. 😉

      Other drinkable wines are Angora (nt sure whom makes that one) and also a few of the Kavaklidere ones.
      Enjoy your holidays! 🙂

      • Angora and Kavaklidere – got it! Çok teşekkür ederim.
        BTW. The varené víno is deadly. I tried it once in Košice (my wife’s home town) during Christmas time and I had the impression it was somewhere round 2 thousand percent alcohol!

      • Just back 2 AM Sunday. Truly knackered. The Terminal 2 international airport at Antalya was total chaos. No information. Hoards at the entrance to the building itself, clogged up because they’ve got a baggage x-ray conveyor belt even before you can get into the building proper …. then we thinking at least that part’s done – oh no. The check-in counters opening, closing and shifting to the right … then to the left … with panic-stricken passengers dashing to be first in the “new” queue(s). After that it’s through ANOTHER x-ray thing, then off to gate 67 – Ha! There’s gate 66 …. there’s gate 68 …. and ….. wot?! Gate 67 is boarded up for renovations ….. and no (I said “NO”) information on where to find this gate, or its replacement! You’ve got to go into gate 66, down the corridor a fair bit where you find a simple, hand-made sign with “67” and an arrow printed on it. Fancy we didn’t know that (!) nor the 2 or 3 dozen fraught, Malmö-bound passengers stumbling over their feet (and our heels) just behind us. Oh, but the loudspeaker was blaring away how we’d better get to gate 67 and board the plane now … and don’t stop to smell the duty-free on the way! We no sooner dropped into our seats (row 34 D,E, and F) and we were off … me breaking my neck to see when the stewardess was coming with my well-deserved Bloody Mary! Thank God for alcohol! We seldom drink the hard stuff but the Vodka didn’t go a-miss, I can tell you.

        I took your advice and brought home a bottle of Angora from the Kavaklidere wineries. The price was 18 TL from Migros in Manavgat and I was just dying to get back home to give it a try. Well, my wife served up a fair shepherd’s pie this evening so I pulled the cork. Not too bad! A bit more fruity than what I normally prefer but I’d been forewarned (thanks to your link to Charles Metcalfe) and it wasn’t nearly as sweet as I feared so the experience was better than expected. I wondered if Turkish wine could be trusted – now I know!

        Thanks for the advice!

        • Oh dear

          Glad the wine was drinkable, at least. 🙂 Yeah, the security at airports in Turkey always starts at the first entrance – makes for hot queues when it’s summer months and coachloads of tourists are all queuing at the same time. Glad the alcohol did the trick. 🙂

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