Mulled Wine is made with red wine, whole spices, honey, and brandy for a warm drink that’s perfect to sip on throughout the winter season! Ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes!
Mulled Wine combines an inexpensive bottle of red wine with mulling spices, liqueur, and a sweetener like honey! Cozy in with friends and family around a slow cooker of this warm wine as you celebrate the holidays together!
What’s The Difference Between Wine and Mulled Wine?
Classic bottled wine is enjoyed without the addition of spices, citrus, and slow cooking. Whereas Mulled Wine is made by steeping whole spices in red wine while slow cooking over low heat.
The Spiced Wine, or Gluhwein as it’s called in Germany, is a traditional Christmas drink that can be enjoyed everywhere! I think everyone has a specific tradition, dessert, or fragrance that instantly sparks the joy of Christmas for them! And for me, it’s this Mulled Wine!
The aroma alone brings me right back to Christmas time in Europe! Wandering around the cobblestone streets and city squares while the bustling market is in full swing.
Those sparkling Christmas lights, mugs of Mulled Wine, and people carefully choosing a gift for their loved ones instantly fill me with Christmas cheer!
But now I can enjoy all of those memories right at home with my family! AND still enjoy the Mulled Wine thanks to this easy recipe that’s ready in only 25 minutes!
To sip on a batch of this Mulled Wine Recipe you’ll start by first selecting the bottle of red wine. It doesn’t have to be top-shelf quality but you also don’t want to reach for the cheapest bottle either.
What Is a Good Wine for Mulled Wine?
I’ve found that the best red wine to use is one that’s full-bodied or is one that has rich spice and berry notes. These types of wine will welcome the added spices and flavors without causing the Mulled Wine to become overly sweet.
Any of the following red wines would be a great addition to the ingredients in this Mulled Wine Recipe:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Red Zinfandel
- Red Blend
After the bottle of red wine has been chosen you’ll move on to collecting the spices. Whole spices are used in this recipe instead of ground spices to avoid producing a grainy beverage.
Mulled Wine Spices
Mulled Wine Recipes do vary when it comes to what mulling spices are used! For my recipe, I chose to use whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and star anise.
Since allspice berries and star anise have stronger flavors these can easily be optional ingredients! Other popular mulling spices that can be used are cardamom, nutmeg, or even peppercorn.
To finish off this Mulled Wine Recipe an orange, honey, and brandy are also needed. Then just pour, serve, and garnish each mug of Spiced Wine with cranberries and sprigs of rosemary!
How To Make Mulled Wine
- Combine the wine, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and star anise in a medium saucepan or small dutch oven.
- Add the orange slices carefully. If you’d like you can also add the honey now or wait until serving to do so.
- Heat the wine but keep a watchful eye so that it doesn’t simmer. The goal is to bring the wine to temperature while staying just below bubbling.
- Ladle the Mulled Wine mixture into mugs and garnish!
How To Serve Mulled Wine
Ladle the Mulled Wine into fun, clear glasses to allow the festive color and garnishes to be shown off! Enjoy your mug of Spiced Wine with:
- Appetizers! Warm this Mulled Wine in the crock pot as friends are welcomed into your home with an appetizer to share!
- Cheese & Crackers! Blue cheese, aged cheddar, and Gorgonzola match up wonderfully with Mulled Wine!
- Desserts! This Spiced Wine pairs great with desserts and good conversation! Once dinner is cleaned up, toss the ingredients for this wine into the slow cooker and pull out the desserts!
- Hostess Gift! Carefully nestle the ingredients into a cozy basket and present it to anyone hosting friends and family in their home! Just don’t be surprised when they get to cooking it up right away!
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Store
Pour the Mulled Wine into an airtight container once it has completely cooled. Then store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How To Reheat Mulled Wine
Though reheated Mulled Wine won’t have the same bright flavors as when it was freshly made it’s still quite delicious! To reheat it simply place the leftovers into a small pot or slow cooker.
Then slowly warm it up on low heat while being careful not to boil!
Why Can’t The Mulled Wine Be Boiled?
Boiling the wine will cause the alcohol to evaporate and cause a reduction in the wine. This will result in a mixture that becomes a syrupy consistency.
What Other Sweeteners Can I Use In This Recipe?
You could swap the honey out for maple syrup or brown sugar. However, honey is the most traditional sweetener when making a classic Mulled Wine.
As the wine is heated it does take on more of an alcoholic flavor. So you definitely do want to add the sweetener of your choice to help with that flavor.
Can I Prepare This On The Stovetop And Then Transfer It To A Slow Cooker To Keep Warm?
Yes, you can! You could also make it completely in the slow cooker! To do so I recommend keeping it on low heat and heating it for at least 1 hour before serving.
What Can I Replace The Brandy With?
The brandy is actually optional so you don’t necessarily have to replace it with anything. However, if you do want to replace it you can use bourbon, cognac, or your favorite liqueur.
Can I Make This Non-alcoholic?
You can definitely use a non-alcoholic wine to make this recipe or can I recommend trying my Kinder Punch instead.
Having a signature drink like this Mulled Wine is a must-have while you’re hosting all of your holiday gatherings! Here’s a handful of more popular beverage recipes that would also be a hit at your parties this season!
- Slow Cooker Wassail Drink – Apple cider, juice, brown sugar, and spices slow cooked together for a warm holiday beverage!
- Boozy or Not White Hot Chocolate – A sweet dessert-like drink that will have everyone coming back for more!
- Christmas Punch – A recipe that can easily be made alcoholic or not!
- Peppermint Chocolate White Russian Cocktail – Made with vodka, kahlua, and peppermint schnapps in just 5 minutes!
- Sparkling Holiday Punch – This non-alcoholic punch combines Hawaiian punch, orange juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, and pineapple juice!
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- Add the wine, cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and star anise (if using) to a medium saucepan or small dutch oven.
- Gently drop in the orange slices. You can add honey now as well or wait until serving.
- Heat the wine over medium-low heat, watching closely that it does not simmer. You want the wine to come to temperature and stay just below bubbling. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Ladle into mugs and garnish with cranberries and rosemary, if desired.
- Maple syrup or brown sugar may be used in place of honey but honey is the most traditional sweetener in mulled wine.
- It’s important to add some sweetener since the wine will take on a more alcoholic flavor as it’s warmed.
- Brandy is optional and you can also try bourbon, cognac, or your favorite liqueur.
- Choose a full-bodied red wine or red wine blend that has rich spice and berry notes for the best results.
- Do not let the wine come to a boil as we do not want the alcohol to evaporate or have any reduction to the wine which could cause it to become syrupy.
- You can transfer it to a slow cooker to keep warm or make it completely in the slow cooker. I recommend keeping it on low heat and heating for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Raisins are sometimes added to mulled wine, but these are also completely optional.