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.
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 for mulled wine recipe results in a wine that is laced with notes of orange, cranberry, cinnamon, and cloves. It is perfectly spiced and warms you to the core.
- Red Wine: Any dry, red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, or a Red Blend, works well. 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.
- Spices: I love to use a combination of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries. Star anise is also a very common spice used to flavor mulled wine, so feel free to add it to the blend. Personally, I feel it overwhelms the flavor of the wine.
- Juice: To add complexity and a bit of sweetness without adding any sugars to the wine, I love to add orange juice and cranberry juice. Just be sure to use 100% juice blends for the best flavor.
- Orange and Cranberries: For color and additional flavor, you can add a sliced orange and fresh cranberries to the wine as it mulls, but this is completely optional.
How to make Mulled Wine
Step One: Prepare Spices
To make it easy to remove the whole spices from the wine, I like to place the spices on a piece of cheesecloth or on an unfiltered coffee filter and tie them up with butcher's twine.
Step Two: Simmer
The trick to mulling any beverage is to do so over low heat so 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 crockpot over low heat.
Step Three: Strain
Before serving the mulled wine, remove the sachet of mulling spices and strain off the cranberries and orange slices. Alternatively, you can serve the wine with cranberries for a burst of texture.
Does Mulled Wine lose its alcohol content?
Because the wine is simmered over such 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.
When entertaining guests, you can serve the mulled wine chilled or warm. To serve warm, prepare the mulled wine using the slow cooker. Once prepared, turn the slow cooker to warm to hold the wine warm for your guests for hours.
More Delicious Beverages
If you enjoyed this mulled wine, I would love for you to leave a review and comment below!
- 750 ml dry red wine
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 all spice berries
- 2 star anise optional
- 1 sliced orange optional
- ½ cup cranberries optional
- On a piece of cheesecloth or unfiltered coffee filter, place the cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice, and star anise if using. Tie the bundle up using butcher's twine.
Stove Top Directions
- Pour the wine, orange juice, and cranberry juice into a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Add the spices, and cranberries and orange slices if using. Cook over low heat until just warm--about 20 minutes. Do not bring to a boil, just simmer over low heat. Discard whole spices and serve warm or chill and serve cold.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Pour the wine, orange juice, and cranberry juice into the slow cooker. Add the spices and cranberries, and orange slices if using. 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.
- 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 directly in the wine instead of using cheesecloth or coffee filter, just strain before serving.
- Be sure to use 100% Cranberry Juice and 100% Orange Juice, so that the cranberry orange flavor is optimum.
- I love the flavor that the oranges and cranberries add, but feel free to omit one or both. You can also opt to use them and strain before serving.
- Refrigerate leftover mulled wine for up to 3 days and warm again before serving.
- Entertaining Tip: When entertaining guests, prepare the mulled wine using the slow cooker. That way you can keep the mulled wine on the warm setting while guests help themselves.