Mulled wine recipe – a classic winter cocktail for cozy evenings

Spiced, citrusy and just delicious, this is the only mulled wine recipe you will ever need. And, it's our top choice of cocktails right now

mulled wine
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This mulled wine recipe is such a festive classy: rich, sweet, and zesty, thanks to the addition of fresh citrus fruits. We'll say outright that we have nothing against pre-mixed bottles of mulled wine from supermarkets. It's just that mulling wine yourself is such a pleasant, slow activity that we can't imagine not doing it ourselves around Christmas. 

Make it properly, from scratch in your own kitchen and you'll fill your home with the scent of the festive season. Could that get any more jolly? It's SUPER easy, cheap and you simply can't beat this classic Christmas cocktail on a chilly winter night.

What wine is best for mulled wine?

The best wine for mulled wine is something fairly full-bodied in flavor. You don't want anything too light as the other ingredients will infuse so much so that it will simply mask the taste. So Malbecs, Zinfandels and Syrahs are on the table, while you should stay clear of pinot noirs. Let's reiterate again that you shouldn't spend a fortune on your bottle either, that is the beauty of mulling recipes!

Mulled wine recipe

Ingredients: 

To serve 3-4 people (sensible people), you will need:

  • A bottle of inexpensive dry red wine
  • Cinnamon, two sticks
  • Star anise, two
  • Cloves, four
  • Caster sugar, 2 cups/250g
  • The juice of a clementine or satsuma
  • The juice of half an orange
  • The rind of the orange and clementine, finely grated

Method:

Of course, you can simply combine the ingredients together and simmer, but to create the best possible flavor, we recommend the following:

1. Warm a non-stick pan and gently simmer the citrus rind, juice, and sugar, until a citrus caramel forms.

2. Add the wine and the spices and continue simmering, but make sure the wine does not boil.

3. After about 10 minutes, transfer into a slow cooker and simmer on the lowest setting for about an hour. Strain and serve in heat-proof glasses. 

Serving tip: depending on the event, why not decorate your glasses with a slice of orange for a cute addition to your Thanksgiving dinner spread? Lovely.

Can you keep mulled wine?

Should you happen to have mulled wine left over (unlikely) or if you're trying to get organized ahead of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just a Saturday night in, you can make mulled wine ahead of time. Simply let it cool before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for about three days, and bring it to room temperature before heating through (not boiling) again. 

Slow cooker mulled wine: the easiest recipe ever

Don't have time to keep an eye on your mulled wine, or have one of those amazing slow cookers with a 'keep warm' setting? Making mulled wine in a slow cooker couldn't be easier: you just put all the ingredients in, put the slow cooker on low for an hour or two – et voila, you've got your mulled wine. To add a bit more depth to the flavour, you can add a glug of Cointreau or port.  

Also, the more different types of citrus you use (i.e. oranges and clementines, and lemon rind), the nicer the taste will be. And, finally, don't skimp on the sugar – this drink really does need a generous amount of it to really sing.