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Mulled Wine (Best Recipe)

Spread the cheer this holiday season with a batch of mulled wine!

A cozy cup will warm your guests right up. Fruity, boozy, sweet, and spiced, this hot beverage is everything nice.

There are so many different ways to make mulled wine. And I’ve tried a lot of them. But this recipe is the best!

Warm Christmas Mulled Wine Glogg with Anise and Cinnamon
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From the warming spices to the red wine, it’s delightfully complex. It tastes like the holidays in a glass.

So, do everyone a favor. Make your gatherings extra festive this year with mulled wine.

What Is Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine is a warm adult drink commonly enjoyed during the colder months. (Especially when the holidays roll around!)

Typically, it contains heated red wine infused with mulling spices, fruit, and a sweetener.

Cinnamon, star anise, clove, and orange slices are a few common ingredients. But like many boozy beverages, there are many variations.

Some recipes include hard liquors like vodka, brandy, or rum. Others may use apple cider. There are even versions with ingredients like raisins or almonds.

Mulled wine also goes by many names. Spiced wine, glühwein, kuhano vino, vin chaud, vin brulé, the list goes on and on! The name of the drink depends upon the region.

Many Nordic countries refer to it as glögg. In Belgium and the Netherlands, it’s called bisschopswijn meaning “Bishop wine.”

In Hungary, it’s known as “forralt bor for,” (boiled wine). Head to Brazil, and it’s called vinho quente.

Every place refers to the same thing. But each will have a unique flavor.

Fruity Boozy Mulled Wine with Cinnamon Anise and Orange Slice

Ingredients

The ingredient variations for mulled wine are virtually endless. But I like to keep things tasty and simple. This mix calls for less than 10 ingredients.

Here’s what you need:

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  • Red wine – I recommend using a Merlot, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon. Think full-bodied and fruity. Also, save the fancy stuff for sipping by the glass. Instead, use an affordable bottle or boxed wine.
  • Brandy – A stiff pour will do the trick. Brandy is a common addition, much like when you make sangria. Like the wine, a reasonably priced bottle is fine.
  • Orange rounds – Use some for simmering and some for a garnish.
  • Mulling spices – Whole cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves are the spices I use. You can substitute other warming spices, but they will change the flavor. Oh, and save some extra cinnamon sticks for a garnish.
  • Honey – To naturally sweeten things up. Maple syrup and sugar work, too.
  • Apple Cider (optional) – It’s optional, but apple cider makes it next-level stuff. It adds sweetness while also toning down the alcohol.

How to Make Mulled Wine

Making mulled wine is easier than you might think. The thing to remember is you don’t want it to boil.

Just watch it and follow these steps:

  1. Combine the ingredients. In a large pot, pour in the red wine and brandy. Add orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, honey, and apple cider (if using).
  1. Simmer the mixture. On medium heat, heat the mixture until it simmers, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to boil it.
  1. Reduce the heat. Put the heat on low and gently simmer it for about 30 minutes. Again, don’t let it come to a boil!
  1. Strain. Remove it from the heat and strain the mixture to discard the solids.
  1. Ladle and garnish. Ladle the mulled wine into mugs or heatproof glasses. Garnish it with fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks, if desired.
  1. Serve and sip. Pass out the mugs and enjoy!
Mulled Wine Gloggs Cinnamon Anise Orange Slice and Jigger on a Table

Tips for the Best Mulled Wine

Want to create the best mulled wine for your guests? Let these tips guide you:

  • Simmer, don’t boil. You’ll want to warm the wine gradually to prevent the alcohol from evaporating.
  • Try a spice bundle hack. Wrap the oranges, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise in cheesecloth. Then, simply remove the bundle before serving!
  • Watch the spiciness! Too much spice can overpower the drink. So pay attention to quantity. Also, use whole spices and not ground.
  • Sweeten it to your heart’s content. For more or less sweetness, adjust how much honey you use. You can also adjust the apple cider.
  • Bust out your strainer. Before serving, strain out the spices. Otherwise, you might get an unpleasant surprise swallowing your drink.

Slow Cooker Method

Are you making mulled wine for a large party? Get out the slow cooker!

I love using it to make a big batch. It’s super easy to do and very convenient. Just place some mugs on the side and let everyone help themselves.

I also like to keep a ladle on a spoon rest or plate for serving. It helps keep the area from turning into a mess.

Here’s a general guide for slow cooker mulled wine:

  • Slow Cooker Method: Combine the ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on low until it’s steaming, roughly 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then, keep it on the lowest setting.
Red Wine Infused Mulling Spices On Wine Glogg

Recipe Variations

The beauty of mulled wine is that it’s completely customizable. So have fun mixing things up with these delicious variations:

  • Ditch the red wine. Not a big red wine drinker? No problem, use white wine.
  • Get spicy with spices. Cardamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger are just a handful of ideas.
  • Kick the booze to the curb. Want to turn it into a family-friendly drink? Just skip the red wine and brandy. Instead, use cranberry juice and red grape juice.

How to Store

Mulled wine is best enjoyed fresh. That said, you can store the leftovers for later.

Here’s how to do it:

To Store: Store leftover mulled wine in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Consume within this period to prevent fruit fermentation.

To Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing and reheating mulled wine. It doesn’t defrost well. But you can freeze it for a frozen treat! Enjoy mulled wine as a boozy slushie, popsicle, or cocktail ice cubes.

To Reheat: On the stove or slow cooker, reheat the mulled wine on low.

Mulled Wine (Best Recipe)

Servings

5-6

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

209

kcal

Mulled wine is a must for the holiday season! It’s made with red wine, spices, and fruit to warm you up from the inside out. Learn how to make this easy recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine (Merlot, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon)

  • 1/4 cup brandy

  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds, plus more for garnish

  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish

  • 3 star anise

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 cups apple cider (optional)

Instructions

  • Add the red wine, brandy, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, honey, and apple cider (if using) to a large pot or Dutch oven.
  • Heat it over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer it for about 30 minutes. Again, do not let the mixture come to a boil.
  • Remove it from heat and strain to discard the solids.
  • Ladle the mulled wine into mugs or heatproof glasses. Garnish it with fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks, if desired.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Mulled Wine

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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