Mulled Wine Recipe

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A cup of this homemade Mulled Wine Recipe makes cheeks rosy and warms from the inside out. This delicious blend of wine, fruit, and fragrant spices will become your new holiday tradition.

Glasses of mulled wine.


 

I love Mulled Wine because it makes the whole house smell absolutely deliciously seasonal and puts everyone in the Christmas spirit. If you’re entertaining, a big batch of mulled wine couldn’t be easier. All you need is 5 minutes of prep, a few minutes to cook, and a collection of cozy mugs.

It’s fun to customize your favorite blend, too. Add fresh cranberries, lemon slices, whole allspice berries, cardamom pods, or apple juice. Or, stash a bottle of brandy, cognac, or your other favorite alcohol nearby for anyone who needs a little extra warmth.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for mulled wine.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Wine: Choose an affordable, bold red wine like Malbec, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. Consider a high-quality boxed wine too. Buy more than you think you need, though. Your guests will inhale every last drop, this recipe is so good. If you’re using white wine, choose an unoaked dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel, or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Orange juice: Apple cider works just as well, too.
  • Sweetness: Use white sugar or your preferred sweetener. Brown sugar, honey, pure maple syrup, and monkfruit are all delicious choices. The amount you add depends on your preferred taste and the sweetness of the wine you choose.
  • Wine spices: sachet is a fancy term for spices tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine, but you can just add everything straight to the pot if you want to.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop, add wine, orange juice, orange slices, sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise and stir to combine. Simmer until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes (do not boil).
A saucepan full of mulled wine.
  1. Strain mulling spices (or remove spice bundle) and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve. Serve warm garnished with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise if desired.
Mulled wine in clear mugs.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes eight 1-cup servings (and is easily doubled or tripled for your crowd).
  • Storage: Leftover mulled wine can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. Just bring it to a simmer before serving.
  • Optional garnishes: Cinnamon sticks, anise pods, orange wheels, a curled orange peel, or even raisins. They plump up in the mixture and are so tasty when you get to the bottom of the glass!
  • Non-alcoholic: All you have to do is replace the wine in the recipe for a good Concord grape juice (like Welch’s) and omit the orange juice and the sugar.  Then add the citrus slices, spices, and proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • Spiked mulled wine: Completely optional, but very delicious. A cup Brandy, cognac, rum, or bourbon added to mulled wine in small amounts gives the drink a nice depth of flavor, much like sangria.
  • Slow cooker: Make the mulled wine in a crockpot on LOW for easy open house serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is gluhwein?

Glühwein is what they call mulled wine in Germany.

What other names are there for mulled wine?

Mulled wine can be called vino caliente, glögg, glühwein, vin brulé, bisschopswijn, vin chaud, candola, or vinho quent, depending on where you’re drinking it.

Can you add brandy to a mulled wine recipe?

Yes of course! It’s completely optional but very tasty. A cup Brandy, cognac, or bourbon added to mulled wine in small amounts gives the drink a nice depth of flavor, much like sangria. I usually tuck the bottle behind the slow cooker and let friends help themselves.

More warm drinks for cold days

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Mulled wine in clear mugs.

Mulled Wine Recipe

A cup of this homemade Mulled Wine Recipe makes cheeks rosy and warms from the inside out. This delicious blend of wine, fruit, and fragrant spices will become your new holiday tradition.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings (1-cup each)
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 113
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients 

  • 2 (750 mL) bottles red wine (see note 1)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (see note 2)
  • 2 oranges sliced into wheels and halved, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or honey or maple syrup, or less to taste (see note 3)
  • 12 whole cloves (see note 4)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks plus more for garnish
  • 4 star anise plus more for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a large non-aluminum pot over medium-low heat, combine wine, orange juice, orange slices, sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Simmer until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes (do not boil).
  • Strain (or remove spice bundle) and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve. Serve warm garnished with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise if desired.

Notes

  1. Wine: Choose an affordable, bold red wine like Malbec, Syrah, or Cabernet Sauvignon. Consider a high-quality boxed wine too. Buy more than you think you need, though. Your guests will inhale every last drop, this recipe is so good. If you’re using white wine, choose an unoaked dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
  2. Orange juice: Apple cider works just as well, too.
  3. Sweetness: Use white sugar or your preferred sweetener. Brown sugar, honey, pure maple syrup, and monkfruit are all delicious choices. The amount you add depends on your preferred taste and the sweetness of the wine you choose.
  4. Wine spices: sachet is a fancy term for spices tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine, but you can just add everything straight to the pot if you want to.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes eight 1-cup servings (and is easily doubled or tripled for your crowd).
  6. Storage: Mulled wine can be refrigerated for up to a week. Just bring it to a simmer before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupCalories: 113kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 182mgFiber: 3gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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