Mulled wine is an amazing addition to any party but you can also make up the mulling spices and boil them on your stove for the delicious holiday scent!
So you want to learn how to make mulled wine?
For years, I have been buying a spice mix in order to warm up mulled wine for Winter celebrations. In the spirit of embracing the holidays and DIY projects, I decided to take a chance at creating my own.
Store bought spice mixes are great, but creating your own recipe allows you to use whole and fresh ingredients.
Winter is certainly the season for mandarins and they are featured prominently in this recipe, and you’ll recognize the scents of all these spices that will make your home smell wintery and savory.
I had no problem finding any of these ingredients and many of them we keep in stock anyway – like the oranges and spices.
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Hot Spiced Wine
Hot wine was first recorded in Roman times as a way to stay warm during Winter. Called Glühwein in Germany, each country and family recipe is a little bit different featuring local flair.
That’s great news because you can adjust the recipe to match the flavors you love.
I decided to use fresh mandarin oranges, fresh cranberries, and a blend of spices to embrace the fruity flavors I enjoy.
Mulled Wine Ingredients
You can include more or less of any the ingredients. The idea is to adjust this recipe so that it becomes your family recipe and it has all the flavors that you love.
For parties, you can mix this in a crock pot and leave it out for guests to garnish themselves. I love serving it in mugs like these here.
Ingredients for Mulled Wine:
- Red Wine
- Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
- Fresh Squeezed Mandarin Orange Juice
- Orange peels (they also make a great garnish)
- Honey or Sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
- Cinnamon sticks
- Star Anise
- Optional – Brandy or Rum
Tips and Substitutions
If you prefer not to have an alcohol version of this recipe you can substitute apple cider for the red wine.
Be sure to use whole spices not ground.
The ground spices tend to float on top of the mixture and the whole spices add more texture and beauty to the drink.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of star anise, try a little bit in your mix.
It adds a nice nutty flavor in this mix. I’ve found it overpowering in some recipes but not this one.
It’s also such a pretty spice to have floating in this drink.
Even if you don’t drink all this, the smell alone makes it worth putting it on the stove. Just don’t use your wine! You can use plain water and the mix of spices and then you’ll have an amazing scented potpourri that’s special to your house!
- 2 Cups of Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
- 2 Cups of Fresh Squeezed Mandarin Orange Juice + 2 peels any extra you'd for garnish
- 1/4 Cup of Honey or Sugar
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 3 Star Anise
- 10 Cloves
- A dash of nutmeg
- A bottle of red wine
- Optional - 1/2 cup of Brandy or Rum
- Add the orange juice, cranberries, honey, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, and nutmeg to a small saucepan. Heat on medium until a few of the cranberries 'pop' or crack open and then remove from the heat.
- Once heated, mix in the wine and brandy or rum and serve immediately.
- Garnish with orange peel, a rosemary spring, fig slice, or orange slice.
For a party, it's easy to double the recipe and leave in a crockpot for guests to serve themselves. You can leave the brandy and/or rum and garnishes in order for guests to create their own beverage.
Choose a bottle of wine you love, I went with a beaujolais for a more fruity flavor, but if you love a drier wine, that's a great fit for this recipe too.
Have you made your own mulled wine at home?
Please share your comments and thoughts below. Also if you’re really feeling the holiday spirit check out a few other projects here!