Mulled Wine

December 25, 2023

Mulled wine has a rich history dating back to ancient times, with its origins often attributed to the ancient Greeks who heated wine to fend off the winter chill. The Romans further popularized the practice, infusing their heated wine with a variety of spices. However, it was during medieval Europe that mulled wine truly gained prominence, with recipes evolving to include a combination of spices, fruits, and herbs, mirroring the festive flavors enjoyed during the Christmas season. Over the centuries, mulled wine has become a beloved winter tradition, with regional variations across Europe and beyond.

Mulled wine in festive mug

Mulled wine’s flavor combines the robust notes of red wine with the comforting infusion of spices like cinnamon, cloves, and orange, creating a cozy and festive beverage perfect for chilly evenings.

IBA Category:
not listed

Warm holiday drink with cinnamon and cloves


  • 1 bottle of red wine (750 ml)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
  • 1/4 cup honey or sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 8-10 whole cloves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • orange zest (from the sliced orange)
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 2-3 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1-2 slices of fresh ginger (optional)

Winter warming drink with cinnamon sticks

1. Pour the red wine into a large saucepan or pot.
2. Add the sliced orange, brandy (if using), honey or sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla bean (if using), orange zest, nutmeg (if using), cardamom pods (if using), and ginger slices (if using).
3. Heat the mixture over low to medium heat. Be careful not to bring it to a boil; you want to warm it slowly to let the flavors meld together.
4. Once the mulled wine is warm, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 15-20 minutes to allow the spices to infuse into the wine. Do not boil, as this can cause the alcohol to evaporate.
5. Taste the mulled wine and adjust the sweetness if necessary by adding more honey or sugar.
6. Strain the mulled wine to remove the spices and fruit slices. You can use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
7. Serve the mulled wine warm in mugs or heat-resistant glasses.
8. Optional: Garnish each serving with a cinnamon stick or a slice of orange.