Best-Ever Mulled Wine (For the Holidays!)

The holiday season is here, and that means it’s Mulled Wine time!

Honestly, nothing screams “holiday party” like tasting wine. Mulled wine is rich in seasonal flavors like cinnamon and cloves – it’s the holiday drink recipe that dreams are made of. Enjoying wine as a hot drink might sound a little strange if you’ve never tried it before, but just think of it as the hot cousin to Hot Toddy! Believe me, it’s amazing.

Mulled Wine is very simple to make and fills your home with the warm scent of spices. Plus it’s delicious! I always have some on the stove on Christmas Eve (just make sure not to let it boil or it will evaporate).

Made with warm, vibrant ingredients like whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and sugar, Mulled Wine is the ultimate holiday cocktail recipe. BTW, if wine isn’t your thing, just substitute the wine with the same amount of cider for an equally great option.

Not only is this festive cocktail easy to prepare, but it’s perfect for heating on the stove or in the crock pot for the duration of the holiday party.

This ensures that your guests have a warm drink ready at all times! Pair it with your favorite holiday snacks for a culinary experience guaranteed to excite your palate.

Ready to try what is bound to become your new favorite holiday cocktail? Let’s get into it!

What is Mulled wine?

Mulled Wine is a traditional holiday drink that dates back to the second century in Europe.

Originally, it was created by the Romans who began heating their wine as a way to defend themselves against the harsh and cold winters.

Naturally, with the spread of the Roman Empire, so did the love for spicy, spicy wine. (And who can really blame them?)

Soon, people all over Europe were mixing spices as a way to enjoy a delicious beverage while at the same time promoting health and warding off potential diseases.

In the 1890s, people began to associate Mulled Wine not just with winter, but with Christmas. From there, it developed into a global phenomenon that will continue to spread for centuries to come.

This festive wine recipe has become a staple in my house, especially during the holidays.

With notes of citrus, cinnamon, and sugar, Mulled Wine is one of those irresistible after-dinner foods that never lose its luster.

Main ingredients

To make your own Mulled wine, you will need a few key ingredients:

  • Red wine. You’ll want to choose a dry red wine, such as Grenache or Merlot. Don’t feel like you need to flaunt an expensive brand, especially because we’ll be adding a lot to it. Instead, look for an affordable, high-quality bottle. (Think of something in the $15 range.)
  • brandy. Not only does brandy make our holiday cocktail more enjoyable (in the best way), but it also adds delicious notes of florals, fresh fruit, and citrus flavor. If you don’t have high quality brandy, you can use orange liqueur instead.
  • Fresh orange. Navel orange slices will soften into the wine as it cooks, adding a citrusy and sour flavor. Make sure to remove the seeds first and if you’re worried the wine is going to be bitter, just pick half an orange.
  • He studies spices. The secret of this wonderful drink lies in the spices! These vary by recipe, but my favorites are whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
  • sugar. Traditionally, white sugar is used to sweeten a spiced wine recipe. However, feel free to replace it with a natural sweetener like honey.
  • Entrees. To make this a really cool cocktail, opt for colorful garnishes. My top picks include whole cranberries, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks.

How to make Mulled wine

Fortunately for all of us, this festive drink is as easy to prepare as it is delicious! To prepare this delicious wine, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Put all ingredients in a large bowl And cook it over medium heat for 30-40 minutes (do not boil it because the wine will evaporate).
  2. turn down the heat And cook for up to 3 hours. (Note: The alcohol begins to evaporate at 172°F (78°C), so be careful not to heat it too high and not allow it to reduce.) Warm wines should be warm and can soften a little during the first 15 minutes, but you should after It lower the heat to avoid evaporation or reduce.
  3. Served in cups With a few fresh cranberries, a small slice of orange and a cinnamon stick. Use any fancy garnish you like to make this drink even more beautiful!

Variations in the recipe

As I mentioned, countries all over the world have been concocting their amazing versions of this spiced wine recipe for years.

However, there are a number of ways to switch things up based on your favorite tastes and what you have at home.

Here are some of my favorite ways to make this cocktail recipe of your own:

  • Try it with white wine. Red wine isn’t your cup of tea? No problem. Just like sangria can be made with red or white wine, you can make wine with dry white wine as well if you prefer. Keep in mind that this will change the flavor profile.
  • Use a tea bag. If you don’t have cloves or star anise, feel free to add one or two tea bags to the tea (decaffeinated bags are preferred, since you’ll most likely be serving this in the evening). You can soak it directly in the mixture with anything else.
  • Switch up your aromatics. There are tons of delicious holiday-inspired aromatics that will taste delicious in this dish, so feel free to mix and match as you wish. Fresh ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and lemon peel are some great options to try.
  • Use a crock pot. This dish can be prepared using a slow cooker (cooked over low heat) or in a crock pot. However, if you’re going the crock pot route, be sure to keep an eye on things. If the wine begins to boil, reduce the heat after 15 minutes.

What to serve with Mulled wine

This warm and festive cocktail is the perfect drink for relaxing by the fireplace with family or friends.

Similar to eggnog or Hot Toddy, this isn’t the type of holiday drink you’d pair with a big meal.

Mulled Wine is best enjoyed on its own or with your favorite snack.

Do you need some ideas? Here are some of my favorite snacks to pair with this cocktail:

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this holiday cocktail recipe:

Which wine to use in wine?

Mulled Wine is traditionally made using a dry red wine, such as Merlot or Grenache.

Since these wines are dark, fruity and full-bodied, they are able to support all the bold and delicious flavors we will be adding to the mix.

Also know that the secret to getting a delicious batch of Mulled Wine isn’t an expensive bottle of syrup.

You should choose a wine that you enjoy on its own, but you don’t need anything fancy. Find something in the $15 range.

How do you store this holiday drink?

To store leftover wine, allow it to cool completely. Then pour it into an airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to two to three months and then blend it up later for a delicious slushie.

Why is Mulled wine bitter?

If your drink tastes bitter, you may have accidentally boiled it during the cooking process. When considering wine, a slow and long way is always best.

Another trick to avoiding bitter-tasting wine is to use only half an orange and remove the seeds first.

More healthy holiday recipes

Looking for more holiday recipes to try? Give this a whirl:

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Looking for a great holiday cocktail recipe to impress your friends? Best-Ever Mulled wines are warm, comforting and bursting with vibrant flavours. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy this season! Please always drink responsibly.

  • 1 Bottle (750 ml) of dry red wine (Grenache or Merlot work great)
  • 1/4 cup high-quality brandy (or orange liqueur)
  • 1 Navel orange, sliced, seeds rejected (use only 1/2 an orange to make it less bitter if desired)
  • 5 whole cloves (use 68 for stronger flavour)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (add a third if you want a stronger flavor)
  • 2 whole anise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar or honey (to taste)

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat on the stove for 30-40 minutes (boil it).
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook for up to 3 hours. You can drink it after the first 30-40 minutes, but the longer it stays, the stronger the spice will be. Warm wine should be warm and can simmer a bit in the first 15 minutes, but then you should lower the heat to avoid evaporation or reduce.
  3. Serve in cups with handles and garnish with a few fresh whole cranberries, a small slice of orange, and/or a cinnamon stick. Use any fancy garnish you like to make this drink even more beautiful!


The alcohol begins to evaporate at 172°F (78°C), so be careful not to heat it too high and not allow it to reduce.

You can make this drink non-alcoholic by replacing the wine with an equal amount of cider and eliminating the brandy.

Do you need an amazing decoration idea? Get a toothpick and skewer a few fresh cranberries, then put it on your mug. Pair this with an orange slice and cinnamon stick for an incredible presentation!

Key words: Warm Wine, Wine Recipe, Holiday Cocktail Recipe, Holiday Drink Recipe

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