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Mulled Wine

Perfumed with the warm spices of winter, this classic mulled wine invites imbibers to pause for a moment and savor the season.


Large pot of warm mulled wine with orange peels, cinnamon and star anise.

Mulled Wine Bursting with Flavor.

With just six ingredients, mulled wine is something that you can truly whip up on a whim. It’s the perfect drink not for a holiday party—although it is great for those, too—but rather for a “post dinner drop-in" or last minute get together. A heavenly medley of wine and spices with a hint of fruit, steeped over the stove until bursting with flavor—mulled wine is our favorite way warm these cold winter nights.

Ingredients laid out for mulled wine fresh orange juice, orange peels, brown sugar, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks

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Tips For Making Mulled Wine

We’ve kept it simple and classic with our mulled wine recipe—it’s infused with whole cloves, whole star anise, and cinnamon sticks.

  • Use whole spices—not ground. Not only do whole spices look pretty in the pot, they allow the flavors of the clove, cinnamon and anise to infuse the wine with their warmth without changing the consistency of the mulled wine, as ground spices might.
  • Make sure your spices are fresh. Whole spices, like those called for in our recipe, last longer than ground—yay! Whole spices are usually good for 3-4 years after purchase. If you think yours might be older than that, toss them.
  • The longer you let this simmer, the more spiced your mulled wine will become. This is a good thing—until it’s not. Don’t let this simmer to death—once you’ve hit 30 minutes, cover the mulled wine to keep it warm, but turn the heat off.
Red wine in large pot next to fresh orange juice, orange peels, cinnamon sticks, whole star anise and whole cloves.

What Wine is Best for Mulled Wine?

Because mulled wine is simmered for about half an hour, you will lose a bit of alcohol, so we like to use red wines that are naturally a bit higher in alcohol. You don’t need to use an expensive wine, but do use something that tastes good to you on its own—you can’t make delicious mulled wine with a not-at-all delicious wine. Here are a few varietals that we think make the best mulled wine :

  • Zinfandel: Often bursting with fruit and jammy flavors, wine made from the Zinfandel grape are a great fit for mulled wine.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: A big, juicy, high (for wine) alcohol wine, Cab is another winning choice.
  • Syrah: Our favorite red wine for mulled wine just might be Syrah. Silky, rich and just a bit tannic, with dark fruit-and-spice notes, it makes for some serious mulled wine magic.
Close up of mulled wine in a pot with star anise, cinnamon sticks and orange peel

Top Five Reasons to Make Mulled Wine Tonight

As if you needed a reason. But, in case you do:

  1. Making a batch of mulled wine a great excuse to have people over.
  2. You (probably) already have all of the ingredients on hand.
  3. It’s Christmastime, and you could use a drink.
  4. Mulled wine simmering on the stove will make your whole house smell like Christmas. If Bing Crosby’s voice is the sound of Christmas, simmering mulled wine is the scent.
  5. You don’t have to have people over to make mulled wine! Maybe you just want to have some mulled wine tonight with your partner, in your pajamas, on the couch. And that’s great, too! Mulled wine for two? Yes please. Pass the cookies.
Large pot of warm mulled wine with orange peels, cinnamon and star anise.

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Mulled Wine

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 226


  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine, such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • ¾ cup brown sugar


  1. Using a sharp knife or peeler, peel half of one orange. Avoid peeling as much pith (white part) as possible, to avoid any bitterness. Juice both oranges into a medium sized pot.

  2. Add the wine, cinnamon, anise, cloves and sugar to the pot, stir to combine and set over medium heat, until just beginning to steam. Reduce the heat to low and continue to warm for 30 minutes or until the wine is infused with the spices.

  3. If desired, strain the wine before serving in mugs.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories226
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates25 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium13 mg
  • Total Sugars31 g

Mulled Wine

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Sarah Hug

    Hoping to make this for a holiday gathering. About how much juice would be expected from juicing the two oranges? Any needed adjustments if looking to double or triple the recipe? Thanks so much!

    about 3/4 cup to 1 cup.

  • Carol Lane

    How long can I keep it warm? We are Carol singing and want it warm when we get back.

    For a long time! Just keep it in a crockpot on the warm setting.

  • Anna

    Made this today and reminds my husband of Glogg!!! Very good.

    Thanks, so glad you love it!

  • Merrie Beth Barton

    Excellent mulled wine recipe!! The star anise flavor was deliciously pronounced. I loved that about this recipe. We used a fruity Syrah and it was perfect. Thanks for the perfect cold night recipe!!

    You're so welcome Merrie Beth! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Kim Cruickshanks

    Ahhh... reading your website is like flipping through a beautiful editorial cookbook

    Awe, Thank you so much!