Are you looking for an easy mulled wine recipe? If the holidays were a smell, it would be mulled wine. If you have visited an outdoor Christmas market, chances are you have indulged in a mug or two of mulled wine. This recipe is simple and can be made in a hurry if you find yourself with guests or longing for a mug of the spiced drink.
Mulled wine is also known as glögg, glühwein, vino caliente, and dozens of other names, depending on the country. If you hear mulled wine called by one of its many names, sit back and enjoy, it’s delicious whatever its name.
Tips + Tricks for the best Mulled Wine
Mulled wine should still taste like wine just warmed with spices and a kick from the brandy or bourbon. Follow these steps to prevent a bowl of sweet juice.
1. Wine Choice
Choose a budget-friendly full-bodied, fruity red wine such as Zinfindel, Merlot, or Grenache.
2. Be Gentle
Don’t boil your wine. Simmer gently over low heat. Boiling your wine will make it syrupy, and the alcohol will dissipate over time. This mulled wine recipe is perfect for making in your slow cooker.
You may have all of the ingredients for this easy mulled wine recipe.
You don’t need to use your best red wine for this recipe. However, there is no need to buy the cheapest bottle either. Choose a nice midrange full-bodied, fruity red wine. I used Cline Ancient Vine Zinfandel.
This recipe calls for Brandy; however, you can use bourbon, rum, or orange liquor. Brandy adds a warming quality to mulled wine, similar to its effects on sangria.
Whole cinnamon, star anise, and cloves add spice and holiday flair. Ground spices will add grit and an overall unpleasant texture and taste to your mulled wine recipe.
To balance out the alcohol, we will add a hint of sweetener. You can use white or brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. I love the way maple syrup adds depth and richness. Use whatever you have or what you might like. You can always tweak your recipe to align it with your preferences.
Fresh squeezed orange juice and orange slices for garnish add to your drink’s flavor and festive look. Don’t skip this step; the orange juice adds freshness and balance.
How to make Mulled Wine
Cook the mulled wine in a medium heavy bottom, non-reactive pot such as a dutch oven or stainless steel pot. Or bust out your slow cooker. I use this one from All-Clad; use whatever you have. Add all of your ingredients and warm on low for 30 minutes – 1hour. This method also produces the most lovely scent…bonus!
Serve your mulled wine in mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks, apple slices, or cranberries. Enjoy!
Where did you enjoy mulled wine for the first time? Let me know in the comments.
Check out more cocktail recipes here!
1 bottle (750 ml) bottle of Merlot, Zinfandel or Grenache
1/4 cup Brandy (or Bourbon, Rum or Orange Liqueur)
2 to 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, Honey or Sugar
2 small oranges
8 whole cloves
2 whole cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
optional garnish: Whole cinnamon sticks, round apple slices, cranberries
- Slice one orange into rounds. Slice the other orange in half and squeeze the juice into the pot.
- Add wine, brandy, 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to the pot.
- Heat mixture over medium heat until steaming (barely a simmer) don't boil. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Carefully taste, add additional sweetener if you prefer.
If you use a slow cooker, after the mulled wine is hot, turn the setting to keep warm. Tip: Mulled wine should'nt be overly sweet. Which is why I recommend adding additional sweetener after your wine if finished cooking.