This classic mulled wine recipe will warm you right through! Such a soothing drink made with red wine, spices, & citrus. Quick, easy recipe.
My goodness, has it been cold this week! Here in the northeast part of the US, we’ve had temps dipping down into the single digits!
And with high winds it feels even colder. My furnace is struggling to keep up!
One thing that really seems to help is sipping on hot drinks. I love to wrap my hands around a toasty mug, and as that warm, soothing liquid settles into my tummy it warms from the inside out.
Or give this easy mulled wine recipe a try.
It’s quick to make and such a special way to settle in on a cold night. I love how it warms and relaxes me, all while tasting absolutely scrumptious! The warm spice plays against the earthy red wine, bright citrus, and sweet brown sugar in such a wonderful, soul-warming way.
WHAT IS MULLED WINE?
Mulled wine (aka: spiced wine, wassail, glogg, or gluhwein) is basically just red wine that’s been sweetened, warmed, and infused with other flavors and spirits.
This recipe sticks close to tradition, with warm brown sugar as its sweetener, classic mulling spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, a little sunny citrus, and a hit of brandy.
The result is just sweet enough, fruity, and so soothing. It’s easy to drink and just makes you feel cozy & relaxed.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
You’re going to love the way the earthy red wine contrasts with warm spices & citrus. Brandy brings an added heat and complexity that feels so wintry & comforting. And that toasty, caramelized flavor that brown sugar brings makes this classic drink so wonderfully smooth & endlessly sippable.
It’s got a deep, jammy, red-fruit juiciness, spiked with all the best winter flavors.
HOW TO MAKE MULLED WINE
This mulled wine recipe is so easy to make. You can toss it together in just a few minutes and let it simmer all throughout the evening.
Start with red wine. You want to buy the big-girl bottle- it’s 1.5 liters and it will make about 8 to 10 servings so it’s really nice for a party. Or you can just transfer any leftovers to a carafe and reheat it all during the week. There’s more on that below 😉
WHAT KIND OF WINE TO USE
Use any kind of red wine you like. If you like a sweeter wine, Merlot is really nice. Or if you like something drier, try a Shiraz. Pinot noir is a little lighter, whereas Cabernet tends to be more full-bodied. Go with what tastes good to YOU.
And if you really just don’t know where to begin, I’d suggest a red wine blend such as Apothic Red or Menage a Trois. These types of wines tend to be very well-balanced and appeal to most palates.
Pour in the whole bottle, and then add a hefty splash of brandy as well.
Drop in some dark brown sugar, several whole cloves, a few cardamom pods, and a couple of cinnamon sticks.
Any time you’re making a hot drink, it’s best to use whole spices because ground spices tend to just settle to the bottom of the pot as grit. Whole spices will really infuse the liquid with their flavor.
Next, grab your veggie peeler and add in the zest of an orange.
Juice the orange and pour that in as well.
Bring this mixture up to a boil, then turn the heat down and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes. This will extract all the flavors out of the spices and citrus. It’s almost like brewing tea.
To serve mulled wine, first, remove the solids. Then just ladle it into glasses or mugs.
If you want to make it extra pretty, add a cinnamon stick and a slice of fresh orange for garnish. I also like to skewer a few fresh cranberries and float in a star anise pod, to really make things pop.
IS IT GOOD FOR YOU?
I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say mulled wine is good for you, but it certainly tastes and feels good.
For all the specifics, check out the nutritional label in the recipe card below.
And I can tell you that this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and vegan.
It does contain alcohol, so use common sense about who you’re serving it to. If you’d like to make a non-alcoholic mulled wine, I’d suggest swapping the red wine out for unsweetened cranberry juice and perhaps substituting apple cider for the brandy.
CAN YOU MAKE IT IN THE CROCKPOT?
My tools of choice for most recipes that need to be kept warm are the enameled cast-iron Dutch oven and the simmer burner on my stove.
But the crockpot or slow cooker were made for recipes like this.
Dump all the ingredients in, cover with the lid, and turn it up to high. Once it starts boiling, bring it back down to the lowest setting and just let it do its thing.
This method is great for parties. Just place a ladle and some glasses alongside and let guests serve themselves.
CAN THIS BE MADE AHEAD & REHEATED?
This mulled wine recipe yields quite a lot. If it’s just you, it will probably be more than you should drink in a sitting.
But that’s ok because it keeps beautifully in the fridge, for several days at least.
Just remove the citrus peel and spices, then pour any leftover liquid into a carafe or pitcher. Pop the lid on, and chill the mulled wine for around 3 to 5 days.
Reheat it gently, in the microwave or crockpot or on a low stove.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE WINTER DRINK RECIPES:
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- 1.5 liters (1500 g) red wine
- 1 cup (240 g) brandy
- 2/3 cup (146.67 g) dark brown sugar, (lightly packed)
- 6 (1.2 g) cloves, (whole)
- 3 (6 g) cardamom pods, (whole)
- 2 (7 g) cinnamon sticks,, plus extra for garnish
- zest of 1 orange
- juice of 1 orange
- star anise pods, (optional garnish)
- 1 orange, sliced, (optional garnish)
- fresh cranberries, (optional garnish)
- Place the wine, brandy, brown sugar, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, orange zest, and orange juice in a large, heavy bottomed pot or slow cooker.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the spices and citrus peel, and ladle the liquid into glasses or mugs.
- Garnish with cinnamon sticks, orange slices, star anise, and/or fresh cranberries, if desired.
- Serve hot.