When the mulled wine appears, the holidays are officially here!
Guaranteed to warm you from the inside out, this mulled wine recipe is the real deal made with a robust red wine, warm spices, and just the right touch of sweetness!
A cozy mug of this sweet and spicy Christmas drink is the perfect way to enjoy holiday cheer!
What is Mulled Wine?
- Mulled wine has quite a history! As far back as the 2nd century, the Romans heated wine to ward off the chill. As the recipe spread across Europe, it evolved into a popular hot beverage offered all throughout the holidays.
- This drink is known by many other names around the globe like glögg in Germany.
- Just like apple cider, mulled wine is a classic warm holiday drink for parties and potlucks! Put everything in one pot and heat, how easy is that?
- Busy holidays need easy recipes, especially if company’s coming. Our guests welcome a soothing cup of mulled wine after a busy day of holiday prep!
Best Wine to Use
Mulled wine is known for its simmered combination of rich red wine, a light sweetener, and then the perfect touch of savory spices and citrus.
WINE The best wines for mulling wine are red wines that are ‘heavy’ with full-bodied flavor and notes of cherry, berries, oak, or vanilla. It’s okay to buy bargain wines and even to mix leftover wines together! Try a malbec, cabernet sauvignon, or grenache.
For an even headier version of mulled wine, a ¼ cup of brandy, bourbon, cognac, or your favorite liqueur will make an even more festive beverage!
SWEETENER Honey is the traditional sweetener for mulled wine because it dissolves easily and lightly sweetens without making the beverage thick and syrupy. However, it’s okay to whisk in maple syrup, brown sugar, agave, or sugar-free monk fruit syrup.
MULLING SPICES Short on time? Mulling spices are sold in small, muslin bags that can be tossed in heated wine or cider, but it’s easy to DIY! The best mulled wine spices include a combination of sweet, spicy, and savory spices.
Use whole spices including cloves, cinnamon sticks, and allspice berries (if you can find them). Optional additions include star anise, cardamom pods, or peppercorns.
GARNISH Mulled wine is made all the more festive by its colorful garnishes! Strips or slices of thinly sliced oranges, or wedges of tangerines, sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme, cinnamon sticks, and fresh cranberries.
How to Make Mulled Wine
- Combine all ingredients except garnishes.
- Heat on the stove but do not simmer.
- Ladle into mugs & garnish.
How to Serve Mulled Wine
- Ladle from the pot into mugs.
- Keep it warm in a slow cooker and let guests help themselves.
- Keep small bowls of cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs, and candied orange peels close by so guests can garnish their own mugs of mulled wine!
Warm up the Holidays!
- Irish Coffee – creamy coffee with a spike
- Homemade Eggnog Recipe
- Cozy Hot Toddy Recipe – perfect on a cold day
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
- Spiked Eggnog Latte – only 4 easy ingredients
- Homemade Hot Chocolate – a kid favorite
More Cozy Holiday Drinks
Did you make this Mulled Wine? Leave us a rating and a comment below!
- 750 ml red wine any wine you'd like
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 allspice berries optional
- 1 orange sliced
- ¼ cup honey more or less to taste
- cranberries for garnish
- candied orange slices for garnish
- rosemary sprig for garnish
- Combine wine and spices in a medium saucepan.
- Add orange slices and honey and heat over low heat for 20 minutes. Do not simmer.
- To serve, place the mulled wine in mugs and garnish as desired. We add cranberries, orange slices, and rosemary or a cinnamon stick.
Wine for Mulled WineChoose a full-bodied red wine or red wine blend that has rich spice and berry notes for the best results. Merlot, cabernet, red zinfandel, or red blend are all great options.
Optional AdditionsBrandy is an optional addition, I recommend ¼ cup or so per 750ml bottle of wine. You can also try bourbon, cognac, or your favorite liqueur. Apple Cider is another great addition and will make this a bit lighter on alcohol and will also stretch the bottle of wine to serve a crowd. (Be sure to use apple cider and not apple cider vinegar). Add between 2-4 cups.
More NotesDo not skip the sweetener, it is needed to balance this recipe. You can substitute brown sugar or a sweetener of your choice. Do not let the wine come to a boil or the alcohol will evaporate or the wine will reduce too much.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This mulled wine was excellent! One of the best I’ve ever had. We added 2 tablespoons of Grand Mariner which I thought was perfect and it had the perfect balance.
So glad you loved it!!
I always look at your recipes and make probably half of them. Great job!
Thanks, Jill. Glad you are enjoying them!