Mulled Wine – simple yet incredible homemade holiday drink spiced up with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, orange, and star anise. A traditional red wine-based winter cocktail that is sure to warm you up from head to toe!
Wherever you may be, I hope you’re all cozied up. ‘Cause let’s all admit it, nothing compares to the idea of lying or sitting down on the couch with a mug of a warm drink in your hand as you watch the snowfall through the window.
Okay, we might never get to experience that snow that I’m talking about here in LA, but you’ll definitely see me holding a big mug of this winter cocktail Mulled Wine for this coming New Year’s celebration. A fantastic holiday cocktail that is easy to whip up and big in flavors!
What is Mulled Wine?
Ahhh… Mulled Wine. If you’re already experiencing snow where you live, this is the perfect drink to serve up. Mulled Wine, like many other recipes, has different types, but it is simply a spiced and sweetened wine.
Depending on the country, you’ll find it referred to as vin chaud, vin brûlé, Grzaniec galicyjski, glühwein, bischopswijn, or glögg, to name a few. But all of these mulled wines share the same foundation and that is red wine steeped in a various mix of warm winter spices.
Traditional Mulled Wine Spices
This hot wine is often spiced up with star anise pods, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves. You can also use nutmeg, bay leaves, and vanilla pods to add more flavor and aroma to this drink.
Mulled Wine Ingredients
For our spiced wine recipe for today, I used a bottle of dry red wine, such as Merlot or Pinot Noir. Moreover, I also decided to add a cup of apple cider to add another dimension to our mulled wine today. Below is the ingredient list for today’s warm cocktail:
- apple cider
- dry red wine
- brown sugar (adjust depending on your preference)
- cinnamon sticks
- allspice cloves
- whole cloves
- star anise
- cardamom seeds
Star Anise Substitute
Star anise (shaped like a star, hence its name) is generally sweet with a mild and fragrant licorice flavor. The closest one you could get to a substitute would be anise seed or fennel seeds as they are in the same category of licorice-like flavored spices.
Judging by these ingredients above, you can already tell how well-flavored our hot wine is. Just don’t blame me if you’ll have seconds or thirds of this drink – it is THAT good!
You can easily scale up this drink if serving during parties or for a romantic drink on a cold winter night with your significant other.
What is the Best Wine for Mulled Wine?
A common question in mulling wine is what’s THE BEST wine to use. Well, I would start off with the advice of using something that you would truly enjoy drinking. It doesn’t have to be expensive, though. For a fruity driven mulled drink, you can go for Shiraz, New World Merlot, or Italian red wines. As for me, I prefer Pinot Noir and Merlot.
How To Make Mulled Wine?
Mulled wine is such an easy drink recipe to make at home. It doesn’t require complicated methods nor unusual kitchenware.
The one thing you need to remember though is NOT to bring it to a boil. Simply simmer all the ingredients in a saucepan over lower heat for 10 minutes and that’s it. It’s spot on time; just enough to allow the flavors to meld together beautifully.
How to Serve Mulled Wine?
Making mulled wine is the perfect excuse to drink a cocktail in a mug. Serve this wonderful spiced drink with orange peels, cinnamon sticks, extra star anise, or some orange slices for this week’s big celebration or anytime you feel you need a drink to warm up.
How to Store Leftover Mulled Wine?
To store this holiday cocktail, make sure to let it cool completely, transfer it to an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Other Must-Try Drinks
- Puerto Rican Eggnog – Coquito
- Chai Tea Latte
- Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Jamaican Carrot Juice
- Strawberry Daiquiri
- Southern Sweet Tea
Watch How To Make It
This blog post was first published in November 2019 and has been updated with a video.
- 1 cup (59.5ml) apple cider
- 1 (750ml) bottle dry red wine , such as Merlot or Pinot Noir
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar , adjust to taste
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange, sliced and juiced
- 3 allspice cloves
- 5 whole cloves
- ½ whole nutmeg
- 1-2 whole cardamom seeds , crushed
- 3 star anise
- Combine apple cider, wine, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, juices, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom seeds, and star anise in a medium saucepan and simmer over lower heat for 10 minutes, just enough time to allow flavors to meld together. Serve with orange peels and cinnamon sticks.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
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