It’s nearly Christmas again. I hope you’ve all stocked up on plenty of booze and written your letters to Santa….
And, round these parts, the approach of Christmas can only mean one thing: new festive blog posts.
They’ve become a bit of a tradition on Another Kind Of Mind (indeed, folk read them all year round – you’d be surprised how many people seem to feel Christmassy in the middle of June!), and I try to do something different every year.
So, from next Saturday (that’s the 19th December) until Christmas Day, there will be a brand new seasonal blog post for you every day.
Until then, if you’re looking for some festive reading (and watching), you can find all my previous Christmas posts right here – and I’ll be adding links to the new posts there as soon as they’re published. Enjoy!
Over the years I’ve written a ton of posts on a festive theme, which have all proved to be very popular with you lot – in fact, it’s become a bit of a seasonal tradition round these parts (indeed, one of my long-time readers reckons I should actually write a book on the subject! I might. One day). There’s so many of these Christmas posts now that I figured it was about time I put them all in one place for easy access. So if you’re feeling Christmassy and fancy a good read, click on any of the links below to find out more…
- Dreaming of a White Christmas? – Snow Facts (2009)
- The Little Ice Age and London’s Frost Fairs (2009)
- Christmas Superstitions (2009)
- The Sun Stands Still: the Winter Solstice and other Midwinter Festivals (2009)
- You Better Watch Out!: A Brief History of Santa Claus (2009)
- Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2010)
- How to have a very merry green Christmas (2010)
- A 17th Century Christmas Miscellany (2010)
- A Victorian Christmas Miscellany (2010)
- A Wartime Christmas Miscellany (2010)
- Festive Felonies (2011)
- Mulled Wine: Mulling it over (2011)
- The Solstice Fire (2011)
- Christmas in London: The Geffrye Museum (2012)
- Christmas in London: The Shoreditch Angel (2012)
- Christmas in London: The Natural History Museum (2012)
- Christmas in London: The Trafalgar Square Tree (2012)
- Stir-Up Sunday (2013)
- Charles Dickens and the Story of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (2013)
- Post Early For Christmas… (2014)
- Christmas in London: The Oxford Street Lights (2014)
- World War One: A Home Front Christmas Miscellany (2014)
- Christmas on Film: ‘Making Christmas Crackers’ (1910) (2014)
- Christmas on Film: ‘Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost’ (1901) (2014)
- Christmas on Film: ‘Christmas Under Fire’ (1941) (2014)
- Christmas on Film: ‘Santa Claus’ (1898) (2014)
- Christmas on Film: ‘New Year Greeting’ (1949) (2014)
- Christmas on Film: ‘Lonely Lightship’s Christmas (1922)’ (2015)
- Vintage Christmas Puddings: A Fourth Helping (2015)
- Under The Mistletoe… (2015)
- The Red, Red Robin… (2015)
- Christmas in London: The First Trafalgar Square Tree (1947) (2015)
- Christmas on Film: ‘A Christmas Carol’ (1914) (2015)
- Merry Christmas to you all! (2015)
- Christmas on Film: ‘Christmas Greeting’ (1946) (2016)
- Christmas on Film: ‘The Mistletoe Bough’ (1904) (2016)
- Post early for Christmas – with some canine help! (2017)
- Christmas in London: A 17th Century Update (2017)
- Christmas on Film: ‘The Insects’ Christmas’ (1913) (2017)
- Christmas in London: Lighting the Darkness on Oxford Street (2017)
- Christmas in London: Snow Joke! (2017)
- A Thoroughly Modern Santa? (2017)
- Happy 2018! (2018)
- Post Early For Christmas… in Christmas!? (2018)
- Beware the Yule Cat! (2018)
- Football at Christmas: Sam Bartram in the Fog (2018)
- Please Mr Postman: A Brief History of Christmas Cards (2018)
- A Thoroughly Modern Santa Returns! (2018)
(I’ll also be adding links to any future Christmas posts as they’re published, so watch out for those too…)
We drink it every Christmas (in fact, I’ve already been glugging away at it over this last weekend!), and many of us see it as an integral part of a ‘traditional’ festive celebration. These days, you can even buy it ready-made in most supermarkets – although it really does taste much nicer if you make it from scratch (see below for some easy recipes to try).
We all know that it’s a spicy and warming seasonal tipple, but what exactly is mulled wine? Where does it come from? How ‘traditional’ is it? Has the recipe changed over time? And, more precisely, what on earth is ‘mulling’ when it’s at home anyway?
Put very simply, to ‘mull’ wine means to heat and spice it, often adding fruit to the mixture too. This process infuses the wine with the spice (and fruit) flavours, giving it that familiar warming kick. Other alcoholic drinks can also be mulled, including cider, mead, ale and brandy, as well as fruit juices.
Variations on this theme of adding spice to booze have been popular for centuries in many European countries, and there are historical records of a number of old English recipes for mulled wine – some of which date back as far as the fourteenth century, although these recipes were almost certainly very old even then.