This simple Mulled Wine recipe is so easy to make and the warm spiced wine is sure to be a delicious addition to your holiday menu or party. An absolute staple during the fall and winter months, I’m sharing how to make it in the crockpot as well as on the stovetop – both ways couldn’t be easier!
This delicious Mulled Wine recipe is the perfect drink of choice for Halloween night all the way through New Years Eve. It’s quick and simple to prepare and does double duty as it gently perfumes your home with the heady scents of cinnamon, cloves and star anise. It smells like Christmas.
What Is Mulled Wine
If you are on the hunt for holiday drinks that will warm both tummies and souls this holiday season, your search stops now. Mulled Wine is simply spiced wine that has been warmed either on the stovetop or in a slow cooker and gently sweetened.
Crockpot Mulled Wine
I love this recipe because it can be prepared on the stovetop for extra quick preparation or, if you’ve got guests over for hours, can sit in a crockpot ready to be ladled as the mood strikes. The recipe as written will require a three to four quart slow cooker but can absolutely be doubled as long as you have a crockpot that can hold it. Slow cooker mulled wine is a must make for the holidays and it makes trick-or-treating a whole lot more fun 😉
Mulled Wine Spices
There are three main spices that are classically used in mulled wine recipes: cinnamon, cloves and star anise.To be honest, it’s this trio of spices that makes mulled wine what it is. As the wine gently heats up, the spices release their oils and flavor the wine. The longer the wine cooks, the spicier it becomes.
What You’ll Need
My recipe features three incredible spices that make this the best spiced wine you’ve ever had. I mellow it out and sweeten it with a little apple cider and maple syrup and give it freshness and body with clementines and Grand Marnier. As always, you can find the amounts and a complete list of the ingredients in the recipe card at the end of this post along with substitutions that can be made.
- mulling spices: whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise.
- bottle of red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Any dry red wine would work in this recipe. You can substitute with a Merlot, Zinfandel, or your favorite dry red wine.
- spiced apple cider fresh apple cider will bring out the best flavor.
- clementines or you can substitute with navel oranges or tangerines.
- Grand Marnier or brandy – this gives the wine a depth of flavor and heartiness.
- pure maple syrup
Be sure to use pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup. You can substitute honey if you prefer or leave this ingredient out all together if you have a sweeter wine. You can taste your wine at the end of cooking time, before adding any additional sweetener, to determine how much sweetness you want to add.
How To Make Mulled Wine
- Create a satchel for the mulled wine spices. Cut a square of cheesecloth large enough to hold all of the spices. Add the whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to the middle of the cheesecloth. Fold the corners of the cheesecloth together and use kitchen string to tie it into a satchel to contain the spices.
- Pour the red wine, apple cider, and sliced clementines into a 3 to 4 quart crockpot. Add in your spice satchel.
- Set your crockpot to LOW. Cover and heat the wine for 1 hour, or until hot.
- Turn your crockpot to WARM and remove the spice satchel. Gently stir in the brandy and maple syrup.
- Serve warm with extra clementine slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
- Create a satchel for the mulled wine spices.
- Pour the red wine and apple cider into a dutch oven or large deep pot set to medium heat. Add the sliced clementines and spice satchel. Bring just to steaming.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes up to 1 hour. The longer it cooks, the spicier it becomes.
- Remove the spice satchel. Gently stir in the brandy and maple syrup.
To store any leftover mulled wine let it cool completely, then add to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, heat over low heat in a small saucepan until warm. You can also reheat in a crockpot on low heat for 30 minutes or until warm.
You can freeze it. Pour cooled mulled wine into ice cube trays and allow them to freeze completely. Once they are frozen you can pop them out of the ice trays and add them to a freezer bag or other sealed freezer-safe container. Store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. The frozen spiced wine can be reheated on the stovetop until warmed or you can blend the frozen cubes for a wine slush.
As with sangria, the saying goes that if you would drink a wine on it’s own, you can drink it in a sangria or mulled wine! Feel free to use your favorite dry red wine in this recipe. If you’re looking for suggestions, the best red wines to use for mulled wines are fruity and full-bodied. Zinfandel, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir are all good choices.
This recipe can totally be doubled as long as you have a pot or crockpot large enough to hold the ingredients.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
If you don’t have cheesecloth, add the mulling spices directly to the slow cooker or pot and simple remove with a fine mesh strainer before serving.
Variations To Consider
- If you’re not a fan of red wine, and not everyone is, feel free to use your favorite white wine in this recipe.
- Making this spiced wine for the holidays? Consider adding in some fresh cranberries to the mix.
- Other spices are also delicious in this recipe. A little fresh grated nutmeg is so good!
More Holiday Drinks To Try
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Vodka Cranberry
- Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
- Cranberry Mojitos
- Slow Cooker Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint Eggnog Milkshake
- Slow Cooker Spiced White Hot Chocolate
How To Make Mulled Wine
Mulled Wine – Crockpot or Stovetop
- 10 whole cloves
- 5 whole cinnamon sticks plus extra for garnish
- 3 star anise plus extra for garnish
- 750 mL dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cup spiced apple cider
- 3 clementines sliced, plus extra for garnish (or use oranges instead)
- ½ cup Grand Marnier or brandy
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup you could also use honey
- Cut a square of cheesecloth large enough to hold all of the spices. Add the whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to the middle of the cheesecloth. Fold the corners of the cheesecloth together and use kitchen string to tie it into a satchel to contain the spices.10 whole cloves, 5 whole cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise
- Pour the red wine, apple cider, and sliced clementines into a deep dutch oven or pot. Add in your spice satchel.
- Heat over medium heat and bring just to steaming. You really want to avoid a heavy simmer or boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes up to 1 hour. The longer it cooks, the spicier it becomes.
- Remove the spice satchel. Gently stir in the brandy and maple syrup, if using.½ cup Grand Marnier, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Pour the red wine, apple cider, and sliced clementines into a 3 to 4 quart crockpot. Add in your spice satchel.750 mL dry red wine, 1 cup spiced apple cider, 3 clementines
- Set your crockpot to low, cover and heat the wine for 1 hour, or until hot. Turn your crockpot to WARM and remove the spice satchel. Gently stir in the brandy and maple syrup, if using.½ cup Grand Marnier, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Serve mulled wine warm with extra clementine slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.