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Holiday Mulled Wine

Happy Friday friends! It has been the dreariest week in Atlanta and I am looking forward to the sunshine and crisp weather on the forecast this weekend!

Earlier this week I kicked off my Thanksgiving recipe series with my perfect slow cooker macaroni and cheese recipe. Today I wanted to share with you one of my absolute favorite holiday recipes, mulled wine!

mulled wine

I discovered mulled wine – otherwise known as glüwein, vin brûlé, or simply hot wine – several years ago when I was in Trento, Italy for work. I just happened to be there in December when the Christmas markets were open, so every day after work we would browse through all the stalls of the market. Everyone was drinking hot red wine out of cute little Christmas mugs and I immediately wanted some for myself.

Upon tasting some, I knew there was more to it than just heating red wine. This delicious potion was bursting with holiday flavor! I was HOOKED! All of the vendors had these huge steaming vats of the wine, so I started trying to waft some smells my way and ask the purveyors in broken Italian how to create this wonderful concoction.

Naturally, they looked at me like I was insane and promptly told me to just “Google it”. Turns out, this was not a local treasure, but a well-known drink this time of year across the world! In the South, room temperature red wine suffices in the winter – we do not need to heat it. Thus, I had never been exposed to the magic that is mulled wine!

Since that trip, mulled wine has become a holiday tradition for me. I make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas and every sip reminds me of the first time I tasted it in the most perfect holiday setting.

My step-by-step recipe is below and a printable recipe is included at the bottom of the post!

The first step is to, of course, select the wine you’ll be using. There is no one type of red wine that you must use for “authentic” mulled wine. I’ve seen recipes that call for every type of wine, so this part is really just personal preference. I personally use a Malbec because it’s my favorite varietal, but it’s up to you! The one thing to note is you should not use the nicest bottle of red you can find, you’re adding spices and diluting it, so get a less expensive bottle! I use two whole bottles for this recipe, but you can scale it up or down depending on your needs.

I like my mulled wine to be flavorFULL, so I add a lot of spice. Whole Food’s has mulling spice blend, which includes all spice, cloves, orange peel, and cinnamon, and I start with roughly a tablespoon of this as the base. I then supplement the spice blend with 5-6 additional whole cloves, two cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 3 star anise, and zest from ½ orange.

mulled wine

mulled wine

Put all of the spice ingredients (except for the cinnamon and orange zest) into a mulling spice ball and hook the ball onto the side of a heavy-bottomed pot. Then add two bottles of red wine, 1 cup apple cider, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 sliced orange, and 1 sliced apple.

mulled wine

mulled wine

mulled wine

Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes but do not allow it to come to a boil. Ladle into individual mugs or transfer to a hot beverage dispenser to keep warm! I personally strain the mixture into a slow cooker on the warm setting to keep it warm all night.

mulled wine

mulled wine

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and that it will become a holiday tradition in your home! Have you ever tried mulled wine before? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you for reading and sharing!

Mulled Wine
  • 2 bottles red wine*
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mulling spice blend
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 orange (zested and sliced)
  • 1 honeycrisp apple (cubed)
  1. Combine all ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot**

  2. Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes (do not boil)

  3. Ladle into individual mugs or transfer to a hot beverage dispenser to keep warm for the night***

  4. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*I use Malbec, but you can use the red wine of your preference


**I put all of the whole spices (except for cinnamon sticks) in a mulling spice ball for easier removal


***I use a large mesh strainer to strain the wine into a slow cooker which I place on the warm setting for the night

By Paces West

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