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Mulling Wine Recipe - How You Make Mulled Wine

Updated on November 8, 2011

Knowing how to make mulled wine means that you can serve up warmth in a wine glass. There are various recipes available, both in print and online. But this one is the best I’ve ever tasted and though it has a few ingredients you may not have used before – it’s well worth the extra effort. Whether you want to warm up in winter or celebrate the Christmas and New Year festivities with a warm, alcoholic drink, mulled wine will always be a welcome winter beverage.

How To make Mulled Wine


If you want to know how to make mulled wine, then bear in mind one very simple fact: it's cheap to make. Incredibly cheap. Most mulled wine that I've drunk has been made with the cheapest (of the cheap) wines. We're talking a few dollars a bottle.

The way you make it can be altered to suit personal taste. For me, the sweeter the better. Others prefer more of a kick, less sugar, more of the taste of the wine. Interestingly, it's not a new warming drink. Warming up wine has been around for thousands of years and it's typically made from red wine, spices, fruit and sugar or honey, depending on your taste buds.

Different countries have their own way of making it and the one I'm going to use is a British recipe. Luckily for me, my friend Jo always makes some when I'm over in the UK and though she keeps repeating the recipe, I always forget to write hers down. It's a pretty simple yet very tasty one - that much i can tell you.

However, there is more than one recipe on the net and if what you find here is not to your taste, feel free to wander off on a mulled wine recipe hunt.

Mulled Wine Recipe

Mulled Wine Ingredients

Mulled Wine Recipe

  1. Two bottles of cheap red wine or port wine
  2. One orange or two clemetines
  3. One lemon
  4. 100g or a quarter pound of sugar or caster suger, which dissolves quicker
  5. Two cinnamon sticks
  6. Four cloves
  7. One whole nutmeg
  8. A couple of torn bayleaves

The next ingredients you can add, or not. I don't - sugar, fruit, cinnamon and the cloves suffice for my taste buds.

  • Two tbsp of Brandy
  • A pinch of ginger


  • Using a pan big enough for the two bottles of wine plus the added ingredients, pour in the wine and turn on the gas, half heat
  • Cut some of the rind off the lemon, in thin strips. Squeeze the juice into the wine
  • Drop the cut rind in
  • Half the orange and push the cloves into one half - place it in the pan
  • Add the cinnamon
  • Wait a few minutes, until the wine begins to heat up, before you add the sugar - it won't dissolve without heat
  • Once you've got some heat going on, add the sugar
  • Don't let it boil - it's better when it all heats through slowly so if it starts to get lively, turn it down to a low simmer

At this stage, you can add in the Brandy and ginger, if you want to use them.

Once all the sugar has dissolved and become absorbed into the wine, it's ready. However, if it's not sweet enough, add more. Just remember to go steady and not add too much - taste it as it dissolves into the wine.

Serve it in standard wine glasses but run them under hot water first, to warm the glass up.

Alternative Mulled Wine Method


Making Mulled Wine

This is an alternative Mulled Wine method - using the same ingredients.

  • Peel pieces of rind from the lemon and orange or clementines
  • Add them to the pan, with the sugar
  • Squeeze the orange juice over the sugar and peel
  • Add the cloves, cinnamon stick/s, around 10 nutmeg gratings and the bay leaves
  • Add just enough wine to cover the sugar and turn the heat on to medium
  • Once it starts to heat up, turn the heat up and let the liquid boil
  • Once the sugar dissolves, after about 5 minutes, you should have a syrup
  • Now turn the heat back down and add the wine
  • Allow the wine to gently heat up

The above method is more time consuming and doesn't use the lemon juice (which is not to everyone's taste) but it allows for the sugar, fruit and spices to fuse together on a high heat. As most of the wine is added last, it prevents you from burning off any alcohol - which happens when you use a lot of heat.

Again, it's a personal taste thing - you may prefer it sweeter or less so. Experiment.

Mulling Wine

Not the best of weather but a great opportunity for going home and mulling wine.
Not the best of weather but a great opportunity for going home and mulling wine.

Mulling wine is easy. In fact it's so easy it's a waste of your money buying ready mulled wine in a bottle. You still have to heat it up and it's more expensive. If this isn't the recipe for you, there are hundreds of variations.

Some people prefer more cinnamon or using demerara sugar, adding a touch of vanilla or star anise. It really is a drink that can easily be refined to perfectly suit your taste and don't worry too much about making a horrible mess.

It's as easy as boiling eggs and even better - you don't have to wait until Christmas to make it. You can drink mulled wine on any cold Autumn or Winters eve - or even during the day. It's one of my favourite drinks and I've yet to drink it just because Santa is about to make his rounds.

One last thing - seriously, don't waste your money on good quality wine. It really isn't worth buying. The cheapest plonk will more than suffice and you'll be amazed at how nice that truly awful bottle of wine your bosses wife's sister's cousin gave you can really taste.

Yes folks - drag out that cheap plonk someone thrust upon you, warm it up, add sugar and spice and what you'll get isn't a girl (sorry guys) but a really tasty drink that will warm up even the coldest of bodies!


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