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6 Mulled Wine Recipes for Cozy Autumn Nights

two mugs of mulled wine with orange slices and spices

The days are shorter, the nights chillier, and the smell of autumn is in the air. It’s a perfect time to end your day with a warm and relaxing tradition: a mug of mulled wine.

What Is Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine is a spiced beverage made with wine, multiple spices, and sometimes fruit rinds or slices. They are typically a blend of aromatic flavorings like cinnamon sticks, allspice, whole cloves, and fruit slices or peels.

Cardamom pods, peppercorns, star anise, and dried ginger are also popular in mulled drinks. Dried orange or lemon zest and raisins are sometimes used as well. There are as many mulled wine variations as there are cultures, and people in them, enjoying hot spiced wine.

To make it, you heat the wine (almost always red) in a pot, add your mulling spices and other ingredients, and then strain through a mesh sieve. Some people make a sachet out of cheesecloth, like a giant tea bag, to skip the straining step. And for ease of enjoyment, while the stove is occupied with food simmering and such, lots of folks make their mulled wine in a slow cooker.

Elite Gourmet 1.5 Quart Slow Cooker

This lil guy is perfect for hot dips, appetizers, and even mulling a bottle or two of wine!

In fact, a small 1.5-quart slow cooker, typically used for dips, appetizers, or other small recipes, is perfect for mulling wine.  A 1.5 quart slow cooker is just the right size to mull up to two 750ml bottles of wine (assuming the chef takes a sip or two before starting)!

Mulled or spiced wine is served hot, or warm, and traditionally consumed during holidays, like Christmas, but this alcoholic beverage tastes great during chilly autumn nights, too!

Our Favorite Mulled Wine Recipes

So there you have it. You know what mulled wine is, and now you’re intrigued to know what this special late-night cocktail tastes like. We’ve selected six of our favorite renditions of this soul-warming drink.

Best Overall Mulled Wine

Two glasses of mulled wine, garnished with an orange, a cinnamon stick and star anise.

This recipe has made its way to thousands of kitchens and has won the hearts of many. Whether you love sipping on a warm mug of mulled wine, or this is your first time trying this one-of-a-kind adult beverage, this recipe is perfect for you.

Most of the ingredients are classic with some optional recommendations from the author. You’ll learn the importance of traditionally heating your wine in a pot so that it never reaches a boil. Enjoy the sweet aroma that fills your kitchen in this easy-to-prep recipe.

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

two glass mugs filled with red mulled wine and garnished with rosemary.
Food Network

If you love a classic slow cooker recipe, then this one is for you. There’s nothing like combining your ingredients in a few minutes and letting a handy tool do the rest for you.

This version of mulled wine is super easy to put together and provides you with the option of adding juice and sugar to sweeten things up. The classic ingredients cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise create a lovely refreshment, and the sprig of rosemary adds the perfect touch of lemon-pine flavor.

Quick Cider Mulled Wine

A pot of cider mulled wine garnished with orange slices, apple slices and cinnamon sticks
Pretty Simple Sweet

Sipping on a hot mug of cider is another delightful way to cozy up during frigid days of late fall and early winter. Did you know the mulled cider is another popular beverage made similarly to mulled wine?

The author of this recipe combined these two popular beverage recipes to produce a simply delicious pick-me-up. She provides great advice for adding your wine towards the end to ensure you aren’t cooking off the alcohol.

German Mulled Wine (AKA Glühwein)

a mug filled with German mulled wine and garnished with lemon slices and a cinnamon stick.
Baked Bree

This one comes straight from a restaurant in Germany, and the flavor is out of this world. It’s a large recipe, which makes it perfect for a winter party you might be planning.

The sweet-spiced aroma has been described as “a hug in a mug.” If that doesn’t make you want to take a sip while unwinding on the couch with a warm blanket, we’re not sure what will. Enjoy this authentic and traditional cup of Glühwein (German Mulled Wine).

Cranberry Clementine Mulled Sangria

A pitcher and two glasses full of mulled wine sangria
Food Network

This one might not fit your definition of traditional or authentic, but it is still absolutely yummy and oh so refreshing. You’ll bring water and mulling ingredients to a boil, then add a few teabags, maple syrup, and fresh cranberries to make this beverage sweet and fruity.

The wine and liquor are added in the end and chilled overnight to turn a once hot and mulled beverage into an energizing and cold sangria that many will love.

Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine

Two glasses of non-alcoholic mulled wine with an orange slice, a cinnamon stick and star anise.
Julie Blanner

This one’s for anyone who would like a non-alcoholic version of this heart-warming beverage. It’s not technically mulled “wine” but with only four ingredients, all free of alcohol, the whole family can enjoy it.

This recipe uses grape juice as a red wine alternative, but cider, apple juice, or even cranberry juice will do the trick depending on your preference. Add in a few spices and orange slices, and you’ve got yourself a tasty treat.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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