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:


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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328 comments on “Mulled Wine”

  1. You don’t know how much I love mulled wine , i will try this recipe for sure asap !

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  7. Best wine I ever had…………..Brad

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  18. We’re in Ontario CANADA; 15 degrees celius & rainy. this recipe will take chill off. 1st1 tried in europe where it perfect in chilly countries. 

    • Oh my goodness, just reading that is making us shiver! haha. We hope you enjoy this and that it helps keep you warm! :)

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  24. How do you do this in the slow cooker? 8 whole cinnamon cloves?

    • Hi Molly! It’s 8 whole cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks. And you can do this in the slow cooker by cooking on low until everything is warm, (30 minutes-an hour), then just keep it on the warm setting. We hope you enjoy!

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  30. I would like to make this but I’m not a dry wine kind of person. Would it affect the flavor using red wine or the wine will not  be as dry as if you are just drinking the  wine itself. 

    • Hi there! Feel free to use a red wine that you like (it’s not essential that it’s a dry one). We hope you enjoy!

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  35. It’s  -32  in Edmonton and I thought I would try this out with alcohol free wine so mommy to be’s can warm tthemselves on some as well. . This Christmas I will be making a huge batch on the back of the stove .. lovely recipe. . Thanks so very much

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  39. If a batch doesn’t get finished in one sitting can you cool it and then reheat the next day? Will it still be good?

  40. You state early on “simply bring a bottle of wine TO A BOIL…then let it simmer…”
    But in your “method” section you caution against bringing the wine to a boil, “as you don’t want to boil the alcohol out!”
    You even then talk of “reducing the heat to medium-low and letting the wine simmer.”
    So do you actually bring the wine to the boil…or do you not?
    As an English person who knows all about mulled wine, (we invented it many centuries ago), I can assure you that you most definitely DO NOT bring the wine to the boil.

    • Hi Tide — oops, that is a mistake, and we appreciate you catching it. It should only ever come to a simmer, never a boil. We’ve edited the recipe. We’re sorry for the confusion!

    • I thought the Germans invented mulled wine with Gluckwein. But then probably it was a heritage from the Romans.

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  43. My family and I were in Ireland for our Winter Vocation 2 years ago.
    We loved the Mulled wine there.
    I had the recipe but misplaced it.
    It will be Mulled Wine this Christmas Eve .
    Thank you.

  44. This is a lovely recipe!  Merry Christmas! xxx

  45. I’m not a wine person and don’t know what type of red to buy? Cabernet?

    • Hi Luan! We like a fruity California Zin or a Grenache for this. We’ve used Cardinal Zin (from Big House) a few times and love it, and it’s very affordable too. We hope this helps and that you enjoy! :)

  46. This was amazing! I’m making my second batch for a party tonight. It’s tangy and sweet and wonderful!

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