The best mulled wine recipe is made with quality dry red wine, a splash of brandy, an assortment of spices, and plenty of citrus flavor. This warm, spiced wine is perfect for your fall festivities and holiday parties!
Let me tell you about my first time trying mulled wine! It happened in Copenhagen at this enchanting holiday festival. Picture this: the air was chilly, and the streets were twinkling with festive lights. I took a sip of that warm, aromatic mulled wine, and it was like a cozy hug for my taste buds.
The taste was a delightful mix of rich red wine infused with cozy spices like cinnamon and cloves, and a hint of citrus from the orange slices. It was like sipping on a cup of holiday cheer! The warmth from the spices and the wine was just perfect for that cool evening in Copenhagen. It instantly made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and I knew right then that mulled wine was my go-to drink for chilly nights during the holiday season.
What is mulled wine?
Mulled wine is a classic Christmas drink. It’s a heated red wine infused with spices, fruits, and sometimes herbs. It originated in Europe, where it has been popular for centuries. A traditional mulled wine recipe uses red wine, brandy, and warming spices.
Reasons This Mulled Wine Recipe Works
- Festive Drink! This cozy, spiced drink transitions well from fall to winter so serve it at all of your seasonal gatherings; from Thanksgiving dinner to Christmas parties.
- Quick & Easy! Don’t have time to make individual cocktails for your New Years party? Although this recipe can simmer for up to 3 hours, you can also whip it up in just 15 minutes!
- Incredible Taste! This drink strikes the balance between fruity and spiced. It’s not too sweet. The flavor of the wine shines through without being overwhelming. The whole spices used in this recipe add an aromatic quality to the drink.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Fresh Oranges: Add this for a pop of citrus flavor. Slice the oranges into small dials. You can even squeeze a bit of fresh orange juice into the mixture for an added citrus flavor.
- Dry Red Wine: For a delicious depth of flavor, use a full-bodied red wine.
- Orange Liqueur or Brandy: This adds additional warmth to the drink and slightly boosts the alcohol content. I like to use orange liqueur because it adds a nice sweetness to the drink.
- Maple Syrup or Coconut Sugar: Use this or your sweetener of choice (use more or less as desired). Maple syrup, Honey, and Coconut Sugar are great options. These natural sweeteners mellow the strong alcohol taste and add a subtle sweetness. Only a few tablespoons are needed.
- Whole Spices: I use cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, allspice pods, and ground cardamom. The spices are what make this mulled wine the distinctive spiced wine that it is! You do not need too much as the whole spices will shine through once heated with the wine.
- Sliced Citrus or Orange Peel
- Cinnamon Stick
- Fresh Cranberries
What is the best wine for mulled wine recipes?
When it comes to making the perfect mulled wine recipe, you’ll want to opt for wines like Merlot, Zinfandel, or Garnacha (also known as Grenache). These choices are rich, fruity, and full-bodied, which makes them a fantastic match for all the delightful flavors we’ll be introducing.
Keep an eye out for wine labels that mention “jammy” or boast “notes of vanilla” – these are excellent indicators of the kind of wine that’ll make your mulled creation truly special!
How to Make Mulled Wine
COMBINE INGREDIENTS. Mix all the ingredients together. Put wine, brandy, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom pods, and sweetener in a big pot. Stir them together quickly.
WARM IT UP. Heat the mulled wine on medium-high until it’s almost starting to bubble. Be careful not to let it boil too hard because we want to keep the alcohol in. Then, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, but you can simmer it for as long as 3 hours if you like. (Carefully heat the wine: If the wine is steaming or bubbling continuously, it is too hot).
STRAIN. Take out the bits. Use a special strainer with tiny holes to take out the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Taste the mulled wine and add more sweetener if you want it sweeter.
SERVE. Time to enjoy! Pour the warm mulled wine into heatproof mugs, and if you like, add extra cranberries or sliced citrus on top to make this mulled wine recipe even more special.
Tips To Nail the Recipe
- Do not keep it on high heat for an extended amount of time. Be careful not to let it boil too hard. Otherwise, you risk cooking the alcohol out.
- Don’t use expensive wine. So many other ingredients go into this beverage that it’s not necessary.
- Use whole spices instead of ground for this recipe. Remember to remove them so the wine doesn’t turn bitter.
- You can enjoy this mulled wine recipe hot, warm, or even cold.
- Spices & Flavors: You can add ginger to the array of spices. Or try adding a splash of vanilla extract for a softer taste.
- Herbs: You can also experiment with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or mint.
- Mulled Wine Without Brandy: You can simply omit the brandy or use orange liqueur instead.
- Crockpot Mulled Wine: Simply add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook it over low heat for 1 hour. Then strain and serve.
After the wine has cooled to room temperature, store it in the fridge in an airtight container or jar. It will last up to 3 days. Reheat it on the stovetop over low heat or in a slow cooker.
Does mulled wine burn off alcohol?
Although some alcohol will evaporate during the heating process, most of it stays intact. In order to avoid burning off the alcohol, warm the wine over low or medium heat. Also, don’t allow it to simmer for more than 3 hours; 15 minutes is more than enough time for mulled wine to simmer and be ready to enjoy.
What are the ingredients in mulled wine?
Mulled wine is made with red wine, spices, sweetener, and citrus.
Can I use white wine for this mulled wine recipe?
Although you can make white mulled wine, the flavor will be totally different. White wine is much sweeter and lighter than red wine so you may want to alter the fruits and sweeteners used in this recipe.
I Hope You Enjoy This Easy Mulled Wine Recipe!
If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.
More Fall Beverage Recipes To Try!
- Healthy Superfood Hot Chocolate
- Dairy-free Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew – Starbucks Copycat
- Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Refreshing Cold Brew Tonic
- Honey Citrus Mint Tea
Best Mulled Wine Recipe
- 2 Small Oranges (or one large orange)
- 750 ml Bottle of Dry Red Wine 1 bottle ( I use Zinfandel)
- ¼ cup Brandy or Orange Liqueur
- ¼ cup Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, or Honey or sweetener of choice (use more or less as desired)
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks large (or 3 small)
- 5 Star Anise
- 8 Whole Cloves
- 3 All Spice Pods
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom (or 2 cardamom pods slightly crushed)
- Fresh Cranberries
- Sliced Citrus
- Mix all the ingredients together. Put wine, brandy, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, all-spice, cardamom, and sweetener in a big pot. Stir them together quickly.
- Warm it up. Heat the mulled wine on medium-high until it's almost starting to bubble. Be careful not to let it boil too hard because we want to keep the alcohol in. Then, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, but you can simmer it for as long as 3 hours if you like.
- Take out the bits. Use a special strainer with tiny holes to take out the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Taste the mulled wine and add more sweetener if you want it sweeter.
- Time to enjoy! Pour the warm mulled wine into heatproof mugs, and if you like, add extra cranberries or sliced citrus on top to make it even more special.