It’s that time of year when I want hot cocktails and beverages. With the weather cooling down and the days getting darker, sometimes a nice warm cocktail after work is just what I need. I wasn’t always a fan of hot cocktails (except the occasional spiked hot chocolate), but they’ve grown on me in my later 20s. One drink in particular that I’ve learned to love is Mulled Wine. It’s like a warm, fruity, lightly spiced hug in a mug.
So, what exactly is Mulled Wine?
You’ve probably heard of or seen gluwhein before. It’s what Germans call wine that has been spiced, sweetened, and served warm; it’s incredibly popular at Christmas markets across Europe. In Scandinavia, it’s known as glogg. It’s similar to Spanish sangria, except it’s not served chilled and chock full of sliced fresh fruit. Well, they’re all versions of mulled wine. I wouldn’t call mulled wine refreshing, but it’s definitely comforting when it’s cold outside.
Mulled wine is a great large-batch cocktail for groups and gatherings—even the small ones we’ve been having in 2020. This recipe I’m sharing today is perfect for under 10 people. In more “normal” situations (or if you’re able to have a larger gathering for the holidays), you can easily double the batch for more servings. Mulled wine would be perfect for relaxing at home on Christmas Eve, or even for Christmas Day meals.
Now, what makes it mulled wine? Mulled just means sweetened, spiced, and served warm. There are specific mulling spices that are used (and other mulled drinks, like cider). For my recipe, I used a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves, a few whole allspice, a star anise pod, and some orange peels. You could also use cardamom, nutmeg, or peppercorns. For the wine itself, you don’t need anything super fancy or expensive, but don’t just grab the cheapest bottle on the shelf. I usually opt for a mid-range cabernet; a merlot would also work well. The fruits and spices add all the flavor you’ll need. Plus, your kitchen will smell incredible.
Here’s how to make Mulled Wine on the stovetop!
You can also make this in your slow cooker, but stovetop works just as well. With the stovetop method, you can be sipping some mulled wine in as little as 20 minutes. I like to let mine go a little longer to really get those warm spice and fruit flavors. Just keep it on a low simmer so it doesn’t get too strong or too hot! If you’re following the slow cooker method, just keep it on low until it’s hot, then switch to warm while serving.
If you enjoyed this, check out some of my other seasonal drinks:
- Cranberry Old Fashioned
- Orange Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
- Blood Orange Sangria
- Orange Spice Tea Latte
- Winter White Sangria
Easy Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup spiced rum or brandy (optional)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (or to taste)
- 1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 orange, sliced
- 5 whole cloves
- 5 whole allspice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise pod (optional)
Place pot or saucepan on stove over medium heat.
Pour in wine, cranberry juice, orange juice, and spiced rum (if using).
Add in orange slices, cranberries, and spices.
Bring to a slow simmer. Let it go for as little as 20 minutes, or up to two hours.
Serve warm in mugs.