Traditional Homemade Mulled Wine Recipe

by Ishani Bose last updated -

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Mulled wine is as much a part of the collective standard winter ‘Christmasy’ culture as cozy fireplaces, warm snuggly colorful sweaters, freshly baked gingerbread cookies, and gift-giving is. This beverage, which was first created by the Romans way back in the second century, has over a period of time become quite a global phenomenon. Today, countries all over the world have come up with their own distinctive blend and name. It is known as glühwein in Germany, vino caliente in Spain, glögg in Sweden, bisschopswijn in the Netherlands, vin brulé in Italy, vin chaud in France, candola in Chile, vinho quente in Brazil and so on.

Needless to say, everyone in the world enjoys a glass of hot wine in the winters. But what is mulled wine and how do we make it at home? Let us find out.

What is Mulled wine?

Mulled wine, also known as spiced wine, is a beverage that is typically prepared by steeping oranges and spices in red wine. The oranges help give the wine a citrusy flavor. During winter, mulled wine helps to keep the body warm. The combination of alcohol and warm spices such as clove and cinnamon adds to the warmth of the drink.

There are alcohol-free mulled wines available as well. In order to make alcohol-free mulled wines, simply use fruit juice instead of wine. You can also make it by boiling the mixture of red wine and spices until the alcohol has evaporated completely. These drinks are known as wassail or mulled cider.

A close up shot of mulled wine in two glasses kept atop a silver tray

How to make Mulled wine?

Mulled wines are usually prepared by mixing the wine with fruits, spices and any other ingredients you wish to add to your drink. The ingredients used to make mulled wine are region-specific. Once they are added, the drink is left to simmer on medium heat, thereby allowing the flavors to properly brew. The mulled wine is then either served immediately or stored in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator. This will further allow all the flavors to seep in.

Here are a few steps that you need to take into consideration while preparing homemade mulled wine.

  • Red/White Wine: Although mulled wine is typically made by using red wine, you can also use dry white wine to make this drink. In fact, you don’t need to spend a lot on your wine. Any basic brand will do.
  • Spices: The most common type of spices used in this wine are cloves, nutmeg, star anise, cinnamon, and vanillaPeople can either add whole or ground spices.
  • Fruits: Some people like to add a citrus flavor to their drink. Fresh oranges are usually the most preferred fruit. Some also like to add other fruits like apples, ginger, figs, or even raisins to enhance the taste of the drink. You can either spice and mull it with the wine or use it as a garnish.
  • Sweetener: Sugar, honey and maple syrups are the most common types of sweeteners used.
  • Additional liquor: This step is optional but should you wish to enhance the flavor of your drink, you can add an extra dose of liquor to it. The most common types of liquor used are bourbon, brandy, cognac or dark rum.

Let us take a look at the detailed recipe below.

A close up shot of Christmas mulled wine

The Perfect Mulled Wine Recipe for the Holidays

Here is an easy-to-make homemade recipe to make mulled wine. Customize the drink with your favorite spices and enjoy a cozy and warm winter with this beverage!
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Course: Beverage, Drink
Cuisine: European
Keyword: Mulled wine, spiced wine
Appliance: Stove
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Ishani Bose


  • 750 ml of dry red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 2-4 tbsp honey/maple syrup/sugar (as per your preference)
  • 1 sliced orange


  • To make mulled wine at home, add orange slices, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, a liquor of your choice, 2 teaspoons of your preferred sweetener and wine in a saucepan and stir it properly until it mixes well.  
    A flat lay pic of Christmas mulled wine in a saucepan
  • Once you are done stirring, start cooking the wine on medium to high heat until it sort of reaches a simmer. Ensure the mixture doesn't bubble as you do not want the alcohol to evaporate. Once it almost reaches the point of simmer, lower the heat and let it cook this way for anywhere between 15 minutes to 3 hours. This is entirely dependent on how strong you want the flavor to be. 
  • Thereafter, use a strainer to remove and discard the orange slices and the spices from the drink. At this point, taste the drink a little and feel free to add more of the sweetener if you need to. 
  • Add some spices and orange slices as garnish. Voila! your warm 'Christmasy' drink is ready! Serve it warm or else store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
    A close up shot of Christmas mulled wine

Other Ways to Make Mulled Wine

You can also make this drink using:

  • Teabags: You can replace the spices with 1 or 2 tea bags and allow it to steep for some time. It would be preferable to use a caffeine-free version.
  • Fruit juice: You can also add your favorite fruit juice to this wine. Cranberry and apple juices are the most common additives.
  • White wine: As mentioned above, we can try this recipe with dry white wine as well. It gives it a natural fruity, light and fresh flavor.

Connect With Us

If you have tried this recipe, we would love your feedback in the comments section below. And while we can’t taste it, we would love to see how it turned out! You can connect with us on Facebook or Instagram and tag your picture with #organicfactsrecipes.

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About the Author

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Ishani Bose has worked as a reporter/features writer for several leading newspapers and organizations in India. It was her love for food, health, and wellness that brought her to Organic Facts. As a Content & Culinary Outreach Specialist, she is responsible for developing and managing the website’s recipe section. An avid Instagrammer who knows the latest social media trends, Ishani helps strategize and create authentic content for the website’s social media platforms. When not writing or cooking, you’ll find her reading, traveling, soaking herself in music, arts, and culture in every way possible. Ishani has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” by Stanford University, US. 

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