Vinho Quente – Portuguese Mulled Wine

For those of us from cooler climates something synonymous with the cold weather, dark evenings and Christmas markets is a mug of hot red wine. That’s Mulled Wine for the English speakers, Glühwein for the Germans, and Glögg for the Scandinavians. Here in Portugal it’s Vinho Quente. Quite literally hot wine in Portuguese. There’s something special about citrus fruits and spices adding to the aroma of hot steaming wine. Although it’s common in much of Europe and even a few of the Christmas markets in Portugal, it’s hard to find in the Algarve. So, we’ve come up with our very own hot wine (Vinho Quente) recipe for Portugal with its own selection of Portuguese ingredients. The star of course is some fresh Algarve oranges, and a healthy splash of Port wine for some extra sweetness and richness.

Ingredients for Portuguese Mulled Wine

  • 1 bottle of Red wine
  • 1 cup of Vintage Port Wine
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Pod (cut in half, scrape the seeds and keep them)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick


  1. Add half of the sliced oranges to a deep pot with the sugar and turn on the heat.
  2. Once the sugar starts to melt, stir the syrup and gently press the orange slices with a wooden spoon to release some of the juice.
  3. Then add the port wine, the vanilla pod and its seeds, and cinnamon sticks to the pot.
  4. Once the mixture starts to steam and is fragrant, add the red wine and the rest of the orange slices.
  5. Heat the rest of the mixture up, but don’t allow it to boil (you don’t want to cook off the alcohol)
  6. That’s it, serve into mugs or a large pitcher. Use some orange zest and cinnamon sticks to garnish if you’d like!

Hot Wine Portugal

Optional Extras:

  • For a spicier and warmer kick, you can add some fresh ginger root.
  • Diced apples, and red fruits can be added at the start for some extra flavour, but we like to keep ours simple and let the wines and oranges speak up!
  • If you like it sweeter, then you can add an extra sweetener like honey or syrup. We find the Port adds its own sweetness so we don’t add too much extra sugar.
  • If you like your hot wine a little less alcoholic then a cup of water does the trick.

Let us know in the comments if you tried our recipe for Portuguese Mulled Wine! Or if there’s anything else you like to add to your own versions of hot wine here in Portugal!

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