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Mulled wine

Mmmmm…mulled wine.  ♡

Also known as glühwein, vino caliente, glögg, vin brulé, bisschopswijn, vin chaud, candola, vinho quente…or literally a hundred other names, depending on where in the world life may find you.  Needless to say, it seems like just about everyone in the world loves some hot wine.  And clearly, I can vouch that you all do too!

Ah, Christmas not only has us thinking of Turkey and trimmings but some of the delicious drinks recipes. Mulled wine is a favourite with my family. We have a mulled wine and spiced beef night during December every year, a pre-Chritmas get together 🙂

Also brings back memories of the Christmas markets across Europe. I particularly liked the German spin on mulled wine served up with some tasty rum. At every market, you would get your glass of mulled wine to keep you warm while looking through the stalls and they would always ask if you would like rum with it. It was only a small bit of rum but completely changed the flavour and I loved it! 

Traditionally Mulled wine is made with red wine and various spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star aniseed, and nutmeg. Sometimes you can also find orange slices and vanilla pods.

Because after having made this recipe dozens and dozens of times myself over the years, I am absolutely convinced that homemade mulled wine just about the easiest recipe ever for winter and holiday entertaining.  Truly.  It literally just takes about 5 minutes to prep.  It’s easy to scale anywhere from a “date night” to two…up to big holiday parties with dozens.  It’s easy to customize with your favourite spices and spike with your favourite liqueurs.  It’s easy to make on the stovetop or slow cooker.  It’s hands-down better than any holiday candle for making your home smell amazing.  And it’s guaranteed to warm everyone up on a chilly winter night or if you like me enjoy the traditional Irish Christmas morning swim then this is far better than any cup of tea post swim!! 

So grab a bottle of inexpensive wine (no need to spring for anything fancy) and let’s get to mulling!




To begin, gather your ingredients.  For this mulled wine recipe, you will need:

  • Wine: No need to splurge on a pricey bottle — any basic bottle of dry red will do. 
  • Fresh oranges: One of which we will slice and mull with the wine, one of which you can slice and use as a garnish if you’d like.  
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon sticks are a must for this one, you can get them in nearly every supermarket or else local food markets
  • Mulling spices: These vary in mulled wine from country to country, but whole cloves and star anise are my favourites, plus perhaps a few cardamom pods if you wish.
  • Sweetener: Sugar is classic, but I prefer a few tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.
  • Extra liqueur (optional): No harm in a little rum, brandy or bourbon. It doesn’t need it but if you want an extra va va voom then this will do the trick. If you are using then just add a small amount. 
  1. Combine ingredients.  Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and give them a quick stir.
  2. Simmer.  Heat until the wine just barely reaches a simmer over medium-high heat.  (be careful – you don’t want to boil off the alcohol.)  Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  3. Strain and season.  Using a strainer, remove and discard the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise and ginger.  Give the mulled wine a taste, and stir in your desired amount of extra sweetener if needed.
  4. Serve. Serve warm, topped with your favourite garnishes.

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