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 loved warming up 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 mulled wine at nearly every holiday gathering and Christmas market and food festival we attend.  In our first holiday season away from home, this festive drink 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 of the site (along with a new step-by-step video and fresh photos) for those of you who may also 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 and can be made either on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.  It’s easy to scale anywhere from a “date night” to two…up to big holiday parties with dozens. It’s totally customizable with your favorite spices and spike with your favorite liqueurs.  And it’s guaranteed to make your home smell absolutely amazing and 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:


Mulled Wine

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


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!



  • 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


  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.


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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336 comments on “Mulled Wine”

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  4. Trying this on my family this year. I love that there aren’t a million ingredients! Also your photos are GORGEOUS. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. You don’t have mulled wine in the Staes?! That MAKES Christmas for me back over the pond. We introduced our Brazilian flatmate to it recently, and I’ve never seen anyone look happier. 

    Thought you might like a slight alteration: swap the brandy for cointreau or another orange liqueur. It brings out the zesty flavours even more. Popping the spices into a muslim cloth tied with a pretty ribbon makes a great gift too!

  14. Loved the taste and ingredients, however my English and German friends recommend NOT boiling the wine and or brandy with the other ingredients, as that basically takes the alcohol content out. In Europe, the wine and brandy is added only after the heat has cooled down to a simmer or warm, then added. But if you like it not so strong and boozy, maybe boiling the wine with everything else is a good tip!

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  17. I LOVE mulled wine and make it many times during the holiday season. To prevent boiling out the alcohol (most important part!) I start with a cup of water at the beginning and boil the spices in that instead of the wine. After about 15 minutes, I add the wine, turn heat to low and cook another 15 minutes. Then add brandy! 

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  42. We make a similar recipe here in Brazil with wine, vodka or Brazilian cachaça (an alcoholic beverage made of sugar cane), cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger and sugar.  You can boil it as much as you want, depending on how alcoholic you want it to be, you can even boil it until it is not alcoholic anymore. This is called “quentão”, which sort of means “great warmth” because it really heats up the cold winter nights, specially here in southern Brazil where we get some below zero temperatures and snow. But I’m definitely interested on trying your recipe with oranges ;)

    • That’s so cool, Priscila, thank you for sharing! Do you add any fruit to the alcohol while you’re boiling it?

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