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Quentão de Vinho (Brazilian Mulled Wine)

Festas Juninas, or the June Festivals, are now taking place in Brazil once again.  As we explained last year in our posts on Pamonha Cake and Munguzá Doce or Canjica de Milho (Sweet Corn-Coconut Pudding) during this month Brazilians essentially celebrate the abundant corn harvest while thanking St. John for the rain. We also drink quentão, the typical beverage of these festivities…Quentão is precisely our recipe for today. 

As I child, I always eagerly looked forward to participating in Festas Juninas every year.

Festas Juninas were and still are one of my favorite Brazilian celebrations.  The excitement of this tradition is something that I am trying to pass on to my children, as you will see below.

Festas Juninas (Brazilian June Festivals)-- Celebrating corn harvest with dishes made from corn...

Since we are planning to visit Brazil next June, they will finally have the opportunity to experience these festivals more fully than just enjoying corn dishes and dressing up as matutas (hillbillies)… I hope that they are enchanted by the sky lanterns,  showers of  fireworks, and bonfires just as I was…  I hope that, just as I did when I was a girl, they get to dance quadrilha folk dances under an arraial (huge event space brightly decorated with strings of colorful flags and paper balloons, and filled with tents or rough stalls)… I hope they don’t mind listening to a few quirky superstitious rituals called simpatias which are carried out by single ladies in order to catch that special someone — although they are not yet at the age for that, fortunately. :)  I don’t believe in simpatias, but I have a lot of fun listening to them. 

I am sure that they will be able to recognize and appreciate many of the corn dishes that they will encounter there, such as sweet popcorn, canjica nordestina or curau, pamonha (pronounced pah-MOH-nyah), mungunzá doce, Brazilian cuscuz, fubá cake, as well as our treat for this year: Quentão, which can be translated as “Big Heat”. Before someone accuse me of serving alcohol to my children, I have to explain that  quentão de vinho is suitable for children because all the wine alcohol content will be evaporated during the boiling process. If you wish, you can use grape juice instead of red wine.

Quentão de vinho or Brazilian mulled wine consists basically in a heated mixture of red wine, ginger, sugar, and spices such as cinnamon and cloves… Well, at least in southern Brazil where the largest production of wine is located. In northeastern Brazil, quentão is made from cachaça instead, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented sugarcane juice. For this post, we are making quentão de vinho or Brazilian mulled wine as I said earlier.


Quentão deVinho

(Brazilian Mulled Wine)

Yield: About 5 cups

Segment: Brazilian cuisine

Quentão de Vinho (Brazilian Mulled Wine) -- An aromatic beverage made from red wine, ginger, orange, and spices.


34 fl. ounces (1 liter) red wine such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon (or grape juice if desired)
17 fl. ouces (1/2 liter) of water
1 orange, sliced
2 slices of fresh ginger, peeled
6 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar (or more, if desired)


Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly just until sugar has dissolved (about first 2-3 minutes of heating). Let boil for additional 10 minutes. Strain and serve warm. Garnish as desired.

You might also enjoy other corn dishes:




Quentão de Vinho (Brazilian Mulled Wine) -- An aromatic beverage made from red wine, ginger, orange, and spices.


** A big thanks to my friend, Ana Caldas Maciel, for having taken two of the pictures above and sent them to me to be featured in this post: Boiled corn on the cobs and Table with several corn treats such as pamonha, canjica or curau, and cakes.


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37 Responses to Quentão de Vinho (Brazilian Mulled Wine)

  1. Daniela June 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    This looks like a wonderful tradition and such a joyful celebration!
    It’s fantastic that you pass on this Brazilian tradition to your children.
    The mulled wine looks delicious and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks :))

    • Denise Browning June 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      Thanks, Daniela! They really enjoyed dressed up as hillbillies and eat some of those dishes.

  2. SallyBR June 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    que delicia de lembranca, mais uma vez! Festas Juninas! Tento explicar ao maridao o que sao as tais festas, acho que o melhor mesmo e’ mostrar a ele o seu artigo…. 😉

  3. madscar June 20, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Uau this is amazing:) I love it!

  4. The Café Sucre Farine June 20, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    Denise, you’ve painted a lovely picture, I want to go with you. I love traditions like this which create such wonderful memories. I’d love to sip a glass of your Quentão de Vinho and enjoy the festivities!

    • Denise Browning June 20, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      I wish you could come to Brazil with us, Chris!!! You’d love Festas Juninas.

  5. Kiran @ June 20, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Cinnamon and cloves makes everything delectable! YUM!

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook June 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Awww your daughters are SUPER cute! The drinks look beautiful and tasy! You must be excited to visit Brazil next year! It’s wonderful for children to experience and absorb culture especially our own! 🙂 I’m heading to Japan in a couple of days. Hope they will especially learn more language.. 😀

    • Denise Browning June 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed trip to Japan, Nami! See ya.

  7. [email protected] is How I Cook June 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Denise, what beautiful daughters. And what a great sounding drink. Perfect for sipping…

    • Denise Browning June 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Thank you, Abbe! I do agree…My babies are pretty! 🙂

  8. Deb June 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    What a wonderful summer celebration! And Brazilian Mulled Wine with cinnamon and ginger sounds tempting!

    • Denise Browning June 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      Deb: Even my children drank it and absolutely loved it!

  9. [email protected] June 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Oh Denise….what a beautiful mulled wine and one of my favorite ways to enjoy wine in general. What a fabulous celebration and one I can imagine you look forward to every year! And those are two of the prettiest hillbillies I’ve ever seen! ;- )

    • Denise Browning June 21, 2013 at 12:19 am #

      Thanks, Anne! This has been one of my fav Brazilian celebrations for many reasons…

  10. Amber June 21, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Wonderful tradition!
    The drinks look beautiful.
    My husband is now in Brazil.
    Mil besos!

    • Denise Browning June 21, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Hi, Amber! Thank you very much. This is a great drink. When you do have a chance, please try it (maybe in the fall/winter?). Wishing your husband a great time there although things have been rocky in Brazil because of the protests. Have a nice weekend!

  11. Sugar et al June 22, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Spices and Wine…that sounds awesome! What a lovely celebration Denise. And those colours are to die for. Loved your post!

  12. Raymund June 23, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    Youre children are so cute 🙂 Nice to pass this tradition to them, which reminds me a lot of my grandmother who used to cook a lot of dishes where I learned from

    • Denise Browning June 23, 2013 at 8:09 am #

      It is my way to make them experience Brazil and its culture since we are far from there and don’t get to go so often. Thanks for stopping by, Raymund! Grandmothers are blessings in one’s life. I miss mine!

  13. Mi Vida en un Dulce June 23, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    So, it’s like a hot sangria…I like it, specially because we already started winter so comes perfect for cold nights.

  14. [email protected] June 23, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    I love this!!! Gimme a glass…or ten! 🙂 And I LOOOOVE that you shared so much with us about your heritage. I want to go to Brazil!

    • Denise Browning June 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      Thanks, Kate! This festivity is one of the best that we have down in Brazil. It is full of life and colors, the corn dishes are exquisite, and the square dances are quite fun. I wish one day you will be able to experience that.

  15. Liz June 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Your girls are adorable! And I’m certain they will remember all the special foods and traditions your share with them. Your wine sounds amazing!

  16. Juliana June 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    Festa Juninas, que saudades…e quentao? I yet have to make this traditional drink…thanks for the recipe Denise. Your girls look so cute 🙂
    Have a lovely week my dear!

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