This mulled wine recipe is simple and classic, with a bold red, mulled spices, brandy, and orange. The ideal cozy drink for a crowd!

mulled wine

When the first cold fills the air, it’s time for the cozy beverage season! What better way to start the fun than a great one mulled wine? Make a large saucepan and it will fill your kitchen with a heady aroma of toasted allspice and cinnamon. This recipe is just sweet enough and balances the strong fruity wine with hot spices, citrus fruits and oak and vanilla notes in the finish. It’s really mind-blowing: a classic recipe for all your fall and winter occasions!

What is mulled wine?

mulled wine is wine that is heated with spices. It is usually served in the fall and winter, especially around Christmas time. The first traditional spiced wine recipe was in Rome in the 2nd century AD! Today it is very popular in the UK and across Europe as well as the USA. In German-speaking countries it is called mulled wine and in the Nordic countries it is called Glögg.

mulled wine

Mulled wine spices

Mulled wine is made with brooding spicesthat permeate the entire drink with that signature cozy taste. (The same type of spices are used in mulled wine.) Typically, a mulled wine is cooked with whole spices instead of ground ones, so that the taste penetrates the wine instead of making it cloudy. There are many variations of the spices depending on the country and tradition. Common mulled wine spices include:

  • cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • Allspice grains
  • Whole nutmeg
  • Star anise

Star anise is the most unique of these mulled wine spices: It is a star-shaped seed capsule. It’s available at most grocery stores, but you can also buy star anise online.

Mulled wine spices

How to make mulled wine: stove, slow cooker or instant pot

Mulled wine can be prepared in different ways: Our favorite is the stove top because it’s quick and easy! But if you’re serving a crowd at a party, a slow cooker or instant pot are great options. Here are the three methods to make mulled wine:

  • Hotplate method: The fastest method in just 30 minutes! Just make sure that it stays on the lowest heating level: it shouldn’t even simmer (otherwise the liquid will be reduced too much).
  • Slow cooker method: This method takes 2 hours and is great for parties! You can leave it on the warm setting and serve straight from the crock pot.
  • Instant Pot Method: Use this version if you have a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker!

mulled wine

Tips on the best mulled wine recipe

A good mulled wine is one thing: but a really great mulled wine has a few tricks to push the taste to the extreme! Here are a few tips on how to make the best version of this drink:

  • First roast the spices. Roasting the spices in a pot or pan for a few minutes will help release even more of their aroma during the simmering time. Plus, it makes your kitchen smell amazing!
  • Simmer very low. You barely want it to gush. If it is too high, the liquid will be reduced and too thick.
  • Finally add the brandy and orange juice. Do this instead of cooking them with the wine. It brings great oak, vanilla and citrus notes to the finish of every sip.

Make a double recipe for party size

This mulled wine recipe uses a 750 ml bottle of wine and is enough for 6 cup servings. Serve a crowd? We recommend grabbing two bottles of wine and doubling up on this recipe. A recipe doubled or even tripled would fit in a slow cooker or instant pot. Use the 2x button in the recipe below for easy doubling.

Mulled wine recipe

More winter drinks

Mulled wine is one of our top winter cocktails and hot alcoholic drinks! Here are a few more that always get to the point:

This mulled wine recipe is …

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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This mulled wine recipe is simple and classic, with a bold red, mulled spices, brandy, and orange. The ideal cozy drink for a crowd!

  • 10 Allspice grains
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 Star anise pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 750 ml bottle of dry red wine *
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup Maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup Brandy or cognac
  • 1 small orange, for garnish
  1. Toast the spices: Place the spices in the bottom of a saucepan (or in a slow cooker or instant pot pan). Roast over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  2. Cooking instructions on the stove: Turn the heat on low. Add the water, then pour in the wine and maple syrup and stir. Warm up for 30 minutes over low heat, just barely bubbling. Do not let the wine simmer too much (otherwise the liquid will be reduced too much).
  3. Instructions for Slow Cooker and Instant Pot: Add the wine, water, and maple syrup with the roasted spices to the slow cooker or instant pot. Cook for 2 hours on a low level or on the “Slow Cooker” setting for the Instant Pot.
  4. Add brandy and orange juice: To serve, stir in the brandy or cognac and the juice of 1 orange. Garnish with orange slices and sprigs of rosemary if you like.


* Double recipe for a party: it’s nice to have double the amount for the slow cooker and instant pot.

  • Category: drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Kitchen: drink

Keywords: Mulled wine, mulled wine recipe, making mulled wine, mulled wine spices


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