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 cranberry 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, cranberry juice, brandy, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and 2 tablespoons sweetener 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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324 comments on “Mulled Wine”

1 2 3 6
  1. Ohhh I totally want to try this! I love sangria in the summer, so this is the perfect way to make that work for the winter!

  2. I love Mulled Wine. It’s a staple with my family over the holidays.

  3. Love that your introducing a whole continent to mulled wine! There’s nothing quite like it on a cold day.

  4. I absolutley adore mulled wine (and cider!) and also wonder why it isn’t a bigger deal here in the US! Come on people, it’s warm spicy WINE!

  5. oh just give me a straw!! but I’ll have to sip it slowly lol

  6. Love mulled wine! And it’s the perfect time of year to start heating it up, thanks for the reminder! Oh, and this is the winter I buy a “puffy” coat too. I’m so tired of being cold. You’ll have to let me know if you find one you love!

  7. And the mulled wine that the pubs in London is so so good! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. SO cool! And John has already requested it, so mulled wine it is. Gorgeous photos, too!

  9. I’m trying to talk my cooking-adverse husband through this recipe on facebook. He’s resisting at the moment, but our mutual friends should join in to pile on the pressure soon.

    Needless to say, I am really excited to try this and the Chai recipe.

    Loving all of your posts, thank you!!

  10. I’ve always wanted to make my own mulled wine! Can’t wait to get started! Gorgeous pics, friend!

  11. Crap, I too was freezing in England last year and did NOT know this was an option! Oh well, cheaper to make it at home :)

  12. Mulled wine is one of my all time favorite fall and Christmas must-makes. I’m always experimenting with new versions, so I’m pumped to try yours. Have a great time at Kohler. Sending love from Madison! (be sure to smuggle home plenty of cheese if you can :) )

  13. My goodness, Ali – you always read my mind! I’ve been wanting to make homemade chai tea for awhile now and you provided one amazing recipe for it. And just when I began to crave mulled wine to sip on with friends – you post this recipe. I am in love with mulled wine. It’s a fall must-have for me.

  14. Ah I can’t wait for cooler weather just to make this!

  15. I’ve never had mulled wine before but I’m intrigued! And can I just say – these pictures are stunningly gorgeous Ali!!

  16. Yum, I love mulled wine but have never made it– thanks for the recipe!

  17. I love mulled wine, but I’ve never had it with brandy. The cinnamon sticks and the anise sound like a great addition too. Lovely!

  18. When we lived in Switzerland for two years, we developed a love for mulled wine (or vin chaud) too. It is a winter staple.

  19. Mmmhhh Glühwein…… Im original from Germany and there’s nothing better than mulled wine with some Christmas cookies…. We also enjoy mulled white wine with different spices….can’t wait for Christmas :)

  20. Mulled wine is one of my favs!! It’s so warm and comforting…mmmmmm. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Ali! :)

  21. I was so in the mood for this tonight! Looks delish!

  22. I love mulled wine – it’s one of my favorites for the colder season..I need to make your version at home now!!

  23. I LOVE mulled wine and, being from England, I’ve never understood why it wasn’t a bigger deal in the US. Maybe because you guys have eggnog and we don’t? Anyway, every year I get so excited for the Christmas period, mainly just so I can drink mulled wine!

  24. This looks so comforting, and it looks so pretty with the star anise on top!

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  27. Aldi also sells Gluhwine (german mulled wine) premixed and everything during the holidays, I bought some yesterday all you do is heat and serve then!

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  29. I’m going to serve this recipe at my Christmas cookie exchange party!

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  32. Simple recipe and gorgeous photos! I’ll be trying this out tonight. P.S. I am a huge proponent of the “puffy” coat – makes a world of difference in the winter.

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  39. I was wondering if you could substitute for the Star Anise? What would that be if you can? Thanks, looks wonderful and delish!

  40. Loved, loved, loved your recipe. It was such a Christmas party hit!

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