Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine
Tap any image to pin it.

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 last minute get together. We like to battle these long dark evenings with a “post dinner drop-in”. We are convinced that those last two hours before bedtime are best spent letting the kids loose in the playroom while the adults sit and catch up, drinking something warm (and preferably boozy). 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.  

A pot of mulled wine simmering on the stove is an invitation—to yourself as much as to your family and friends—to pause for a moment with a generous mug of garnet-colored goodness, put your feet up, and soak in the glow of holidays.

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine Spices

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

A few things to bear in mind:

  • 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. 
Mulled Wine

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. 

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 spouse, in your pajamas, on the couch. And that’s great, too! Mulled wine for two? Yes please. Pass the cookies. 
Mulled Wine

Whenever you make this mulled wine, and whomever you share it with, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe. 

Mulled Wine

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 bottle red wine
2 oranges
3 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
10 whole cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar

Method

  1. Place all ingredients except the oranges into a medium sized pot. Using a sharp knife or peeler, peel half of one orange. Avoid peeling as much pith (white part) as possible, as it has a bitter taste. Juice the oranges and add to the pot along with the orange peel.
  2. Over medium heat, warm the mixture until just steaming. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Heat for 30 minutes while the spices infuse.
  3. Strain the wine and serve into heat-proof cups. Garnish with an orange peel.