Mulled Wine Christmas Recipe

What is Mulled Wine and why is it the favorite drink during Christmas season ?

Mulled wine goes by many names—spiced wine, hot wine, grogg, and vin chaud are a few I hear used interchangeably. As far as I know, they all essentially refer to the same drink.
The Best Mulled Wine Recipe.

While I can’t state authoritatively that this is the most traditional mulled wine recipe (there seem to be as many variations of mulled wine as there are European cafés in which to sip them), I’ve made enough batches over the years to state with confidence that this is the best mulled wine recipe.

This spiced wine is piping hot, smells of cloves and cinnamon, and tastes like Christmas along with Christmas carols to our friends.

How To Make Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine will fill your home with the warm Christmas scent of citrus and spices. It’s is one of the most simple and satisfying drink recipes you can make.

The Ingredients

Red Wine. A dry and richly flavored red wine is perfect for this recipe.
Apple Cider. Where most spiced wine recipes use sugar, I love using apple cider instead. It gives the hot wine a seasonal flavor that tastes just right for this time of year.
Honey. A touch of sweetness.
Orange. The orange might seem like an odd addition, but TRUST ME. A key to making the best spiced wine is balancing different notes of complementary flavors, and the orange helps do just that.
Spices. I use cardamom, cinnamon sticks, and star anise for my mulled wine spices. Even if you don’t love anise (I’m not usually a fan myself), the flavor here is subtle, well balanced, and gives this spiced wine an extra note of flavor that you don’t want to miss.
I don’t recommend ground spices, as they will float on top of the wine and not incorporate properly.
Brandy. The final edge this spiced wine needs to reach its peak.


Pour the wine into a large pot or slow cooker.
Add WHOLE spices.
Add apple cider.
Add Orange slices
Simmer to allow the spices to infuse the wine with their warmth and the other ingredients to marry into a single, delicious drink.
Add a little bit of brandy if you like your drinks strong or skip it if you don’t.
Star anise, cinnamon sticks, clove, and cardamom pods for making spiced wine crockpot recipe

Christmas Mulled Wine Recipe

What Wine is Best for Mulled Wine?

The best wine for mulled wine is something dry and full bodied like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. These will stand up to the other flavors and ensure the spiced wine won’t be too sweet.
You can be quite economical with spiced wine. Because of the added flavors, this is a good place to make use of a more budget-friendly bottle. Don’t choose the very bottom shelf, but you can save the super good stuff to enjoy on its own.
If you aren’t a fan of red wine, you can also check out my recipe for White Spiced Wine.
This time of year, you’ll also see a lot of spiced wine brands selling pre-mixed spiced wine in bottles. Don’t do it. Bottled spiced wine has a tendency to be overly sweet, and its flavor artificially spiced and flat. Homemade mulled wine is so easy to make yourself and so superior, there’s no need to buy it premade.

Healthy mulled wine recipe made in the slow cooker served in glasses with cinnamon sticks

How to Serve Mulled Wine
Slow Cooker. While this recipe can easily be made on the stove, for parties I love making it a mulled wine crockpot recipe. The slow cooker keeps the stove top free and the spiced wine warm, and it’s easy for guests to access for refills.