Mulled Wine

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This traditional homemade mulled wine recipe is incredibly easy to make, and it’s SO cozy and delicious.

Mulled Wine Recipe

Mmmmm…mulled wine.  

Also known as glühwein, vino caliente, glögg, vin brulé, bisschopswijn, vin chaud, candola, vinho quente…or literally a hundred other names, depending on where in the world life may find you.  Needless to say, it seems like just about everyone in the world loves some hot wine.  And clearly, I can vouch that you all do too!

I actually first shared this recipe five years ago this month, after returning home from a chilly trip to Spain and England in 2012, where my friends I fell in love with warm mugs of hot wine each evening in the pubs.  Since then, literally hundreds of thousands of you have pulled up this recipe to simmer warm batches for yourself.  (Amazing.)  And I ironically now find myself living back in the continent where I first fell in love with the drink, where we have been served warm mugs of it at nearly every holiday gathering and Christmas market and food festival we attend.  And in season of such newness and transition, it has felt more comforting and nostalgic and delicious as ever.

So today, in honor of my mulled wine recipe’s 5 year-iversary on the blog, I thought I would bump it back up to the top (along with a new step-by-step video and fresh photos) for all of you looking to simmer a cozy batch for yourself this winter.

Because after having made this recipe dozens and dozens of times myself over the years, I am absolutely convinced that homemade mulled wine just about the easiest recipe ever for winter and holiday entertaining.  Truly.  It literally just takes about 5 minutes to prep.  It’s easy to scale anywhere from a “date night” to two…up to big holiday parties with dozens.  It’s easy to customize with your favorite spices, and spike with your favorite liqueurs.  It’s easy to make on the stovetop or slow cooker.  It’s hands-down better than any holiday candle for making your home smell amazing.  And it’s guaranteed to warm everyone up on a chilly winter night.

So grab a bottle of inexpensive wine (no need to spring for anything fancy) and let’s get to mulling!

Mulled Wine Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Mulled Wine with Orange

My original photo for this recipe from 2012. :)

Mulled Wine Ingredients:

To begin, gather your ingredients.  For this mulled wine recipe, you will need:

  • Wine: No need to splurge on a pricey bottle — any basic bottle of dry red or white wine will do.  (Or if you’re making a big batch, this is a great recipe to break out the boxed wine too!)
  • Fresh oranges: One of which we will slice and mull with the wine, one of which you can slice and use as a garnish if you’d like.  (To minimize bitterness, feel free to peel the orange before simmering it in the wine.)
  • Cinnamon: I love the making mulled wine with cinnamon sticks, but you could whisk in some ground cinnamon if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Mulling spices: These vary in mulled wine from country to country, but whole cloves and star anise are my favorites, plus perhaps a few cardamom pods.
  • Sweetener: Feel free to add your favorite sweetener to taste.  Sugar is classic, but I prefer a few tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.
  • Extra liqueur (optional): Similar to sangria, it’s also traditional to spike your mulled wine with an extra bit of liqueur, if you’d like.  I like to add a bit of brandy, bourbon or cognac, but any favorite liqueur will do here.  (Or you can skip the extra liqueur if you prefer.)

How To Make Mulled Wine

How To Make Mulled Wine:

To make mulled wine, simply…

  1. Combine ingredients.  Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and give them a quick stir.
  2. Simmer.  Heat until the wine just barely reaches a simmer over medium-high heat.  (Avoid letting it bubble — you don’t want to boil off the alcohol.)  Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  3. Strain and season.  Using a fine mesh strainer, remove and discard the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise and ginger.  Give the mulled wine a taste, and stir in your desired amount of extra sweetener if needed.
  4. Serve. Serve warm in heatproof mugs, topped with your favorite garnishes.

Full ingredient amounts/instructions listed in the recipe below.

Mulled Wine Recipe

Possible Variations:

Want to customize this mulled wine a bit?  Feel free to…

  • Use white wine: This recipe is also delicious (and lovely) when made with a dry white wine.
  • Use a different liqueur: Instead of brandy, feel free to add in some Cointreau, bourbon or cognac.
  • Use a chai tea bag: In place of the cloves and star anise, feel free to steep 1 or 2 chai tea bags in the mulled wine (preferably caffeine-free, if you are serving this to a group in the evening).
  • Add fruit juice: If you would like to add in some cranberry juice, consider making my ginger cranberry mulled wine recipe!

Mulled Wine Recipe Gimme Some Oven

More Holiday Drink Recipes:

Looking for more festive holiday drink ideas?  Here are a few more favorite holiday drink recipes:

Print

Mulled Wine

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

Description

Homemade mulled wine is incredibly easy to make on the stovetop (or simmer in the slow cooker), it’s easy to customize with your favorite spices and add-ins, and it is SO cozy and delicious.  Perfect for winter and holiday entertaining!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of dry red wine
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds (also peeled, if you would like a less-bitter drink)
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 24 tablespoons sugar, honey, or maple syrup to taste (or your desired sweetener)
  • optional add-in: 1/4 cup brandy (or your favorite liqueur)
  • optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients.  Add wine, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, 2 tablespoons sweetener, and brandy to a large saucepan.  Stir briefly to combine.
  2. Simmer.  Cook the mulled wine on medium-high heat until it just barely reaches a simmer.  (Avoid letting it bubble — you don’t want to boil off the alcohol.)  Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  3. Strain.  Using a fine mesh strainer, remove and discard the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.  Give the mulled wine a taste, and stir in extra sweetener if needed.
  4. Serve. Serve warm in heatproof mugs, topped with your favorite garnishes.


Notes

Cheesecloth option: You can also place the oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a cheesecloth. Then simply strain and pull out the bundle when ready to serve.

Photos: I doubled the recipe for the photographs shown above.

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326 comments on “Mulled Wine”

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  12. Do you have any thoughts on making this liquor free for abstainers in family . The recipe sounds so soothing and delicious, but would appreciate a kid-friendly copycat. Welcoming responders. Thanks, Happy Holidays.

    Janel Barthe in New Orleans, LA

    • Just boil the wine and it won’t be alcoholic anymore.

    • For alcohol free, just use purple grape juice or Trader Joe’s sells an alcohol free Wassail during the holidays that is great warmed up..those wanting booze can add brandy to the alcohol free wassail😉

  13. 5 stars

    Made this mulled wine in the crockpot for Thanksgiving. Big hit! Thanks for sharing.🌞

    Rating: 5

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  23. 5 stars

    Love it! Quite authentic. Be warned, if you add the brandy that it is quite potent.

    Rating: 5

  24. 5 stars

    Made it now a couple of times! Honey is a great to add as you say in the recipe!

    Rating: 5

  25. This is a lovely recipe but just for the record, Glögg is different from mulled wine as we usually have a ton of spiced spirits in it and different spices 😉

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  27. 5 stars

    Excellent recipe, this is amazing and the longer it summers the better it taste!

    Rating: 5

  28. 5 stars

    It was delicious! I made 2 bottles worth and it vanished!

    Rating: 5

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  30. Hi is it possible to make a batch for yourself and to keep it for a couple weeks??

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  33. 5 stars

    Thanks a lot for the recipe! I didn’t have orange, so I used 2 red apples instead (sliced). Sugar was better than honey (sweeter). I added 3 tablespoons of honey but ended up adding 2 extra tablespoons of sugar.
    I also added 3 pods of cardamon.
    It was easy and tasty, thanks!

    Rating: 5

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  35. 5 stars

    Brilliant, perfect for a winter get-together in Tasmania during Dark Mofo

    Rating: 5

  36. 5 stars

    I was promised in this article that this is easy to make. I will make them this weekend and if I cant make them I will come back. I’m just kidding thank you for the recipe.

    Rating: 5

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  39. May I link to this recipe for my email subscribers? I think they would love it!

  40. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe!! Thank you

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  43. 5 stars
    Sooooo good.

  44. How do I print this without the ads showing up too? Exiting the ads doesn’t work and they’re taking up a lot of room on the pages.

  45. The only thing I would change is to omit the star anise. It made it too strong in my opinion. I would also put in one cinnamon stick instead of two. Thanks!

  46. What type of brandy do you recommend? What would the slow cooker instructions be? Thanks!