3 Easy Mulled Wine Recipes for Every Occasion: Slow Cooker, Basic + Elaborate

|December 19, 2017

Mulled wine has been a cold weather favorite for centuries (yes, centuries!). Always popular across Europe, we’re only just discovering the magic here in the United States. The drink blends all the flavors we love from mulled cider, classic holiday spices and the cozy warmth of hot chocolate. It’s easy to see why people are falling in love!

To help you elevate your holiday gatherings, your cold winter evenings and your family dinners, we put together three mulled wine recipes. In order from easiest to most difficult, each one is sure to impress your guests and your taste buds.

So pick your recipe, head to the grocery store, pick up a Merlot, Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon and get to cooking!

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine Recipe

We love this easy recipe because you get to sip delicious mulled wine while it makes your whole home smell festive. Perfect for a party, we recommend throwing everything in the slow cooker while you put the finishing touches on your home decor, and the drink will be ready as your guests arrive!

Mulled Wine DIY how to make mulled wine


2 bottles of red wine

3 oz. Cointreau

2 oranges, peeled and juiced

2 cinnamon sticks

3 star anise

4 cloves

1/4 cup honey or sugar (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until hot. Ladle into heatproof glasses and serve with slices of orange as garnish. Because the mix will be simmering for a while, feel free to experiment with mulling spices and flavors. The extra time will blend flavors like orange, lemon and nutmeg beautifully.

Basic Mulled Wine Recipe

This is our basic mulled wine — approachable, quick and difficult to mess up. Essentially, you’re going to throw everything in a saucepan until it’s warm!

Mulled Wine DIY how to make mulled wine


1 bottle of red wine

1 orange, sliced into rounds

8 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

1/4 cup honey or sugar (optional)

1/4 cup brandy (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Be sure not to boil the mix or you’ll cook out the alcohol. Let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes and up to three hours. The longer you simmer, the more the flavors will combine into a delicious blend. For an extra kick, you can add a 1/4 cup of brandy before taking your drink off the heat. Once warm, serve with garnishes like orange slices, star anise and cinnamon sticks.

Elaborate Mulled Wine Recipe

This recipe is a bit more elaborate because it requires a scratch-made syrup and a few more ingredients. It’s still an easy process, but it will take more supervision and slightly more time. The extra step adds thickness, richness and subtle flavors that are definitely worth it!

Mulled Wine DIY how to make mulled wine


1 bottle red wine

1 orange

1/2 cup sugar

3 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 star anise

First, peel the orange then put the peelings and the juice into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, the cloves, the cinnamon stick, vanilla extract and ground nutmeg. Then, stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. The majority of the alcohol will be boiled out here, so don’t use all your wine! Simmer this mix until the sugar has dissolved then bring the entire pan to a boil. Stirring occasionally, keep the mix at a boil for about five minutes until you have a thick syrup.

Then, when the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low, let the mix settle and add your star anise with the remaining wine. Heat on low until the whole mix is warm — about five minutes. And your drink is ready to serve! You can garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange peels or slices.


Share your recipes on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter by tagging #McGuireRE and let us know what you add to your blend. Do you throw in lime juice, cranberries, Cointreau or brandy? We’ll reshare our favorites!

Category Home Inspiration

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McGuire Real Estate

McGuire Real Estate

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