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This mulled wine recipe is easy and classic, starring a bold red, mulling spices, brandy and orange. The ideal cozy drink for a crowd!

Mulled wine

When the first chill starts to fill the air, it’s time for cozy drink season! What better way to start the fun than a great Mulled Wine? Make up a big pot, and it fills your kitchen with an intoxicating aroma of toasted allspice and cinnamon. This recipe is just sweet enough, balancing the bold fruity wine with mulling spices, citrus, and oak and vanilla notes on the finish. It’s truly stunning: a classic recipe for all your fall and winter occasions!

What is mulled wine?

Mulled wine is wine that’s heated with spices. It’s typically served in the fall and winter, especially around Christmastime. The first recorded spiced wine recipe was in Rome in the 2nd Century AD! Today it’s very popular in the UK and across Europe, as well as the US. It’s called Glühwein in German-speaking countries and Glögg in Nordic countries.

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine spices

Mulled wine is made with mulling spices, which infuse the entire drink with that signature cozy flavor. (The same style of spices are used in Mulled Cider.) Typically a mulled wine is simmered with whole spices instead of ground, so the flavor infuses into the wine instead of making it cloudy. There are lots of variations on the spices depending on your country and tradition. Common mulled wine spices include:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • Allspice berries
  • Whole nutmeg
  • Star anise

Star anise is the most unique of these mulled wine spices: it’s a star-shaped seed pod. It’s available at most grocery stores, but you can also buy star anise online.

Mulled wine spices

How to make mulled wine: stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot

You can make mulled wine using various methods: our favorite is the stovetop because it’s quick and easy! But if you’re serving a crowd at a party, a slow cooker or Instant Pot are great options. Here are the three methods of how to make mulled wine:

  • Stovetop method: The quickest method, at only 30 minutes! Just make sure it stays on the lowest warming setting: it shouldn’t even come to a simmer (otherwise the liquid reduces too much).
  • Slow cooker method: This method takes 2 hours and is great for parties! You can leave it on the warm setting and serve it right out of the Crock Pot.
  • Instant Pot method: Use this version if you have a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker!
Mulled wine

Tips to the best mulled wine recipe

A good mulled wine is one thing: but a truly great mulled wine has a few tricks to take the flavor over the top! Here’s are a few tips for how to make the best version of this drink:

  • Toast the spices first. Toasting the spices for a few minutes in the pot or a skillet helps to release even more of their flavor during the simmering time. Plus, it makes your kitchen smell incredible!
  • Simmer very low. You barely want it to be bubbling. If it’s too high, the liquid will reduce and get too thick.
  • Add brandy and orange juice at the end. Do this instead of simmering them with the wine. It brings in major oak, vanilla and citrus notes to the finish of each sip.

Make a double recipe for party size

This mulled wine recipe uses one 750 ml bottle of wine, and makes enough for 6 servings of ¾ cup each. Serving a crowd? We’d recommend grabbing two bottles of wine and doubling this recipe. A doubled or even tripled recipe would fit in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot. Use the 2x button in the recipe below for easy doubling.

Mulled Wine recipe

More winter drinks

Mulled wine is one of our top winter cocktails and hot alcoholic drinks! Here are a few more that always hit the spot:

This mulled wine recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 drinks 1x


This mulled wine recipe is easy and classic, starring a bold red, mulling spices, brandy and orange. The ideal cozy drink for a crowd!


  • 10 allspice berries
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 750 ml bottle dry red wine*
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup brandy or Cognac
  • 1 small orange, for garnish


  1. Toast the spices: Add the spices to the bottom of a pot (or to a skillet for Slow Cooker or Instant Pot). Toast over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  2. Stovetop cooking instructions: Turn the heat to low. Add the water, then pour in the wine and maple syrup and stir. Warm for 30 minutes on low heat, just barely bubbling. Do not let the wine come to a full simmer (or the liquid will reduce too much).
  3. Slow Cooker & Instant Pot instructions: Place the wine, water and maple syrup in the slow cooker or Instant Pot (pressure cooker) with the toasted spices. Cook on low for 2 hours or Normal using the Instant Pot “Slow Cooker” setting.
  4. Add brandy and orange juice: When ready to serve, stir in the brandy or Cognac and the juice from 1 orange. Garnish with orange slices and if desired, rosemary sprigs. 


*Double the recipe for a party: for the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot it’s nice to have the doubled quantities. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Mulled wine, mulled wine recipe, how to make mulled wine, mulled wine spices

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. This recipe is delicious! Not too sweet and perfectly spiced. Huge hit at our friend’s Halloween party.