Designation for a heated alcoholic beverage made from wine mixed with spices and sweetener, which is traditionally served and drunk during the cold season at Christmas markets, especially in northern countries. Such spiced wines were already very popular in the early Middle Ages, because the spices were able to cover up wine faults that were common at that time, or even a wine that was already more or less spoiled could still be made edible.
An old recipe from the 15th century: Boil 2 litres of old red wine with 375 g of sugar, 1 piece of cinnamon, 6 cloves, the thinly peeled peel of ½ lemon, strain it through a sieve and bring it to the table hot. But there are a myriad of different recipes. In most cases, however, red wine (or red grape must) is used as a base, to which cinnamon sticks and cloves are added. Oranges and lemons (peel and/or juice), sugar and/or honey are also often used. Bringing the wine to the boil allows the alcohol to escape relatively quickly; if this is not desired, one should only let it steep.