Mulled Wine

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

Mulled wine in clear mugs.

I love Mulled Wine because it makes the whole house smell absolutely incredible and puts everyone in the Christmas spirit. If you’re entertaining, this couldn’t be easier. All you need is maybe 5 minutes of prep and a few minutes to cook.

And when the doorbell rings, offer your guests a piping hot cup of spiced wine, to keep Jack Frost from nipping at their noses. They’ll love you for it.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled ingredients for mulled wine in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Wine: Choose an affordable, bold red wine like a 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 there’s one nearby, Aldi is a great place to shop for a good wine deal. If you’re using white wine, choose an unoaked dry white wine like a pinot Grigio or sauvignon blanc.
  • Orange juice: Apple cider works just as well, too.
  • Spices: The recipe calls free-floating spices which you strain before serving, but you can make a sachet of spices instead. Just add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to a piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Tie the sachet to the pot handle for easy removal. Follow the recipe as written, or try cardamom pods, black or pink peppercorns (just a few!), citrus peel, whole nutmeg (cracked in pieces), or allspice berries.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, find a non-reactive pot: stainless steel, ceramic, or stovetop-safe glass pots work best. In the pot, stir together the wine, orange slices, sugar or sweetener, and spices, and simmer on low heat until steam just starts to rise from the pot. Don’t boil the mulled wine or the alcohol will cook off.
  2. On low heat, you can simmer the wine for 10 minutes, or up to several hours to let all those wonderful flavors mingle together and get friendly.
    Mulled wine in a silver pot.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • What to serve it in: The best mulled wine cups have handles for easy (and safe) drinking. A pretty selection of mugs or glass punch cups would be lovely.
  • Garnish: Garnish mulled wine with a fresh citrus slice, a raw cranberry, orange peel, or extra cinnamon sticks.
  • 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. Brandy, cognac, or bourbon added to mulled wine in small amounts gives the drink a nice depth of flavor, much like sangria.
  • Slow cooker: A slow cooker or crockpot is perfect, especially during an open house or longer party where guests are coming and going. Add the wine, orange juice, fruit, sugar or sweetener, and spices to the crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW until hot; keep on LOW throughout the party. Replenish as needed.

Mulled wine in clear mugs.

More festive drinks:

Mulled wine in a clear glass mug.

Mulled Wine

A cup of homemade Mulled Wine makes cheeks rosy and warms from the inside out. This delicious blend of wine, fruit, and fragrant spices will become your new holiday tradition.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 244kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

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 sugar or honey or maple syrup, or less to taste
  • 12 whole cloves (see note 3)
  • 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 a 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 there's one nearby, Aldi is a great place to shop for a good wine deal. If you're using white wine, choose an unoaked dry white wine like a pinot Grigio or sauvignon blanc.
  2. Orange juice: Apple cider works just as well, too.
  3. Spices: The recipe calls free-floating spices which you strain before serving, but you can make a sachet of spices instead. Just add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to a piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Tie the sachet to the pot handle for easy removal. Follow the recipe as written, or try cardamom pods, black or pink peppercorns (just a few!), citrus peel, whole nutmeg (cracked in pieces), or allspice berries.
  4. What to serve it in: The best mulled wine cups have handles for easy (and safe) drinking. A pretty selection of mugs or glass punch cups would be lovely.
  5. Garnish: Garnish mulled wine with a fresh citrus slice, a raw cranberry, orange peel, or extra cinnamon sticks.
  6. 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.
  7. Spiked mulled wine: Completely optional, but very delicious. Brandy, cognac, or bourbon added to mulled wine in small amounts gives the drink a nice depth of flavor, much like sangria.
  8. Slow cooker: A slow cooker or crockpot is perfect, especially during an open house or longer party where guests are coming and going. Add the wine, orange juice, fruit, sugar or sweetener, and spices to the crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW until hot; keep on LOW throughout the party. Replenish as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Diane

    Absolutely Delicious! 5 stars

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