Quentão de Vinho – A Brazilian Mulled Wine Recipe
In Brazil, mulled wine is known as Quentão, which translates to “big heat.” It is traditionally drunk during the Festas Juninas, Catholic celebrations of rural life that take place throughout the month of June.
Festas de Juninas in Brazil
The Festas are a Christian adaptation of European Midsommer. Participants give thanks to Saint John for the summer rains and dress as stereotypical caipiras, or “country bumpkins.” Boys don large straw hats and painted freckles and girls wear pigtails and checkered dresses.
There are many traditional games and dances, such as the quadrilha, which is similar to American square dance. The music of the forró players is central. It is an unmistakable sound, with an accordion at the center and the rhythm kept by a triangle and a bass drum called a zabumba. The lively beat is juxtaposed with vocals that express longing and nostalgia.
Corn dishes are abundant at the Festas: sweet popcorn, corn coconut pudding (munguza doce), and fúba cakes made from cornmeal. And the traditional drink is the quentão, a warm mulled wine sweetened with cane sugar and flavored with earthy spices.
In America, we tend to drink our spiced wine when the weather turns cold. The quentão is a perfect addition to the warming drinks we look forward to as Winter approaches. It is lighter than many of the European versions, which are often spiked with brandy or cognac. This makes it an ideal pairing with a savory end course, like a cheese board with aged parmesan and smoky prosciutto.
The quentão is very simple to make. A few quality ingredients are all that is needed to make this spiced beverage. If you wish, you can boil the wine so that it is virtually alcohol-free. Otherwise, be sure to keep the heat on a simmer so you retain the alcohol content.
Brazilian Mulled Wine Recipe (Quentão de Vinho)
- 1.5 liters of red wine* (two 750 ml bottles)
- 3 cups of water
- 1.5 cups white sugar
- 1 sliced orange
- 1 sliced lime
- 5 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 peels of fresh ginger (or 2 tsp candied ginger)
- Garnish: cinnamon sticks, orange peel, orange slices, or star anise
*Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon work well, try out DAOU vineyards for our selection of wines you can use at home.
- Add your water and sugar to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- When all of the sugar is dissolved, add your fruit and spices. Cover the pot and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
- Add your wine and simmer while covered for an additional 10 minutes, until it is hot.
- Strain the wine and serve in mugs with cinnamon sticks, star anise, or orange peel for garnish.
*You can easily make this wine in a slow cooker. Add all your ingredients at once and cook on low until hot. Reduce heat to warm and serve as needed.
Visit Texas de Brazil for More Traditional Recipes
Texas de Brazil has more than 50 locations across the United States and Overseas. Visit one of our churrascarias to experience our delicious and authentic Brazilian food and drink, like our famous picanha and a huge selection of side dishes.