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
- 1/4 cup brandy (or orange liqueur)
- 1 orange, sliced into rounds (also peeled, if you would like a less-bitter drink)
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, honey, or maple syrup to taste (or your desired sweetener)
- optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise
- Combine ingredients. Add wine, brandy, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and 2 tablespoons sweetener to a large saucepan. Stir briefly to combine.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.