Historians believe it was the Romans — per usual with hooch archives — that first recorded spicing and heating their wine for the winter as early as the second century B.C. The medieval English cookbook “The Forme of Cury” explains this phenomenon of mulled wine, or “ypocras,” as grinding together specific spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, then mixing with sugar and red wine over heat. Voila: a time-honored consumable classic, beloved by the likes of Charles Dickens and celebrity chef Ina Garten.

Mulled wine has been a wintertime tradition for literal centuries for good reason, warming from the inside out and emptying the spice cabinet at the same time. In this basic recipe modified from Portland’s Thelonious Wines, sommelier Alex Marchesini recommends using a fuller-bodied and jammy red wine, a flavor profile that can fill out the spice characteristics without breaking the bank, considering you are cooking the juice. If you’d rather have all the spices compiled for you, Seattle’s World Spice sells an original blend for mulled wine success.

DYI Mulled Wine
Makes about 4 servings
1 bottle (750ml) red wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 apple, sliced into thin wedges
10 whole cloves
3 whole star anise
2 cardamon pods, cracked
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup honey or raw brown sugar
Garnish: wide orange peel, cinnamon stick
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer over medium-low. Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, or take the heat very low and simmer for up to three hours. Serve with a cinnamon stick and a freshly expressed wide orange peel in each mug.