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This spiced mulled wine recipe is a hot and cozy drink to warm up with. You can make this easy recipe in a slow cooker or on the stove top. It’s a great recipe for football season and the holidays!

Looking for another cocktail recipe? Try winter sangria, Thanksgiving sangria, or Cranberry Christmas palomas!

mulled wine

Made with whole star anise, whole cloves, oranges, cinnamon sticks and Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon, this mulled wine is perfect for a crowd.

Have you ever had mulled wine? If this is your first time, you’re in for a treat! It will warm your hands and stomachs with its cozy temperature, and its flavor and spices.

What is Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine is simply wine served warm with spices and sweetener. It’s sometimes served with an extra shot of hard liquor like brandy.

Over in Germany, it’s called Gluwhein or “glow-wine,” and a lot of people often put raisins in their recipe. Mulled wine is a warm cocktail made for chilly days.

mulled wine recipe

how to make mulled wine

What goes into mulled wine?

Mulled wine is typically made with a red wine. It’s cooked with mulling spices and can also be mulled with fruits. It’s a tradition many northern European countries have been doing for centuries.

The mulling spices in this mulled wine recipe include whole star anise, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks.

I also added some cranberry for a wintery touch and sliced oranges for some citrus. The orange aroma pairs perfectly with the cinnamon, cloves and star anise.

mulled wine spices

Which red for mulled wine?

The mulling spices add a lot of flavor to the wine, so I wouldn’t recommend using a delicate wine like a pinot noir. Choose a full-bodied red that will stand up to all the yummy spices.

I used Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon, and it held up to the spices and then some! It’s full bodied with dark fruit flavors that match so well with the orange slices and cranberries. You cannot go wrong with this wine!

mulled wine spices

How do you make mulled wine?

There are two ways you can make mulled wine, but both are easy! You can make mulled wine on the stove in less than 20 minutes or you can make it in a slow cooker.

To make mulled wine on the stove, start by adding all of the ingredients to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until it just starts to boil. Be careful not to boil too much or you’ll cook the alcohol off. Once it starts to boil, reduce to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and serve warm.

To make this mulled wine in the slow cooker, add everything together and heat on low for 30 minutes to an hour until it’s completely warmed. Strain and serve!

And serving is the best part! All the yummy add-ons and extras make this drink look extra festive and warming. It’s a perfect drink for hosting watch parties and more as it comes together so quickly!

simple mulled wine recipe

How to serve mulled wine:

If you have clear mugs, I recommend using those! I love how you can see the deep red color of the mulled wine. If you don’t have them, any plain mug will work!

Add an extra cinnamon stick, more star anise, cranberries and an orange slice to the cup once you ladle it in. The orange will soak up the warm mulled wine, and it’s so yummy to eat when you finish your glass.

This year, we’re going to be serving this up with other game day appetizer favorites for a warming drink to enjoy while cheering on our favorite team!

best wine for mulled wine

If you make this recipe, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it and feature you.

More holiday drink recipes:

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3.50 from 2 votes

Mulled Wine

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
This spiced mulled wine recipe is a hot and cozy drink to warm up with. You can make this easy recipe in a slow cooker or on the stove top. It's a great recipe for football season and the holidays!

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Servings: 8


  • 2 750 ml Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 oranges sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup honey maple syrup or agave
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • optional add-in: 1/2 cup brandy
  • Optional garnishes: cinnamon sticks star anise pods, orange peel or slices, cranberries


  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat until just barely simmering. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
  • Strain, and serve warm with desired garnishes.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

mulled wine

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