Red wine is simmered low and slow with aromatic spices and a combination of orange and cranberry juices for a delicious mulled wine. This is the perfect cocktail to warm you up when the weather gets cooler.
My dear friend and I have a tradition. We live states apart but always make time to visit each other around the holidays and catch up over food and a glass of red wine.
During the holidays, we both enjoy to spice up our tradition with mulled wine.
And while it is easy to purchase mulling spices for wine, it is much cheaper and much more delicious to make your own. Not to mention, you can control the quality of ingredients and added sugars when preparing your own mulling spices.
This recipe results in wine that is laced with notes of orange, cranberry, cinnamon, and cloves. It is perfectly spiced and warms you to the core.
I love to serve homemade mulled wine at holiday parties, Thanksgiving Dinner, and of course it is also suited for a night at home catching up with old friends.
How to make Mulled Wine
My recipe for mulled wine, is a lot like my version of Mulled Cider. Instead of infusing red wine with mulling spices, I have added in orange juice and cranberry juice for a delicious blend of flavors that pairs perfectly with the fall and winter season. The juices add flavor and a bit of sweetness. While most recipes for mulled wine add in sugar, no additional sweetener is needed, thanks to the juices.
The trick to mulling any beverage, is to do so over a low heat as to not evaporate the wine, yet impart the flavors of the spices chosen. You can do this over the stove on low heat, or in a crock pot over low heat. I often opt for the method of using the slow cooker so that I can keep the wine on warm while guests help themselves.
Which Wine is Best to Use?
When you are mulling wine, you want to choose a wine that you enjoy drinking. But you also don’t need to break the bank, as this wine will be infused with other flavors, it is a great time to use a less expensive bottle of wine.
Any dry, red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, or a Red Blend, works well.
Does Mulled Wine lose it’s alcohol content?
Because the wine is simmered over such a low heat, the alcohol is not fully evaporated. The wine may lose a TINY bit of alcohol, but not enough to be of any significance. So drink responsibly.
- 750 ml dry red wine
- 2 cups orange juice
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- orange slices for garnish
Stove Top Directions
- Pour the wine, orange juice, and cranberry juice into a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves. Cook over low heat until just warm--about 20 minutes. Do not bring to a boil, just simmer over low heat. Discard whole spices. Serve with orange slices for garnish.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Pour the wine, orange juice, and cranberry juice into the slow cooker. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves. Cover and cook on low heat until just warm--about 1 hour. Discard spices. Serve or keep on warm, for people to help themselves at a gathering. Serve with orange slices for garnish.
- Select a dry, inexpensive red wine. This is not the time to use an expensive bottle of wine. I like to use a Cabernet, Merlot, or red blend.
- You can place the whole spices in piece of cheesecloth and tie off with butcher twine. This makes it easy to discard the whole spices after the mulling is complete.
- Be sure to use 100% Cranberry Juice and 100% Orange Juice, so that the cranberry orange flavor is optimum.
- Refrigerate leftover mulled wine for up to 3 days and warm again before serving.
- Instant Pot Mulled Wine: I have also had success mulling this wine in the pressure cooker. Simply add all ingredients to the inner pot and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.