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Mulled Wine Recipes

Updated on December 20, 2010

If you're looking for great mulled wine recipes then you've come to the right place. For those of you that don't know what mulled wine is, it's wine, traditionally red but sometimes white, that has been spiced and heated. Its an extremely popular drink, especially in northern Europe where all the different countries seem to have their own version of it. No surprise there, as they also, coincidentally, are the coldest of European countries and since mulled wine is served warm (and of course contains alcohol) it delivers a double whammy as far as heating up the extremities goes.

Mulled wine has been around as a drinking tradition for at least a couple thousand years, and probably started in Scandinavia where it goes by the name of glögg, which if you ask me, is just the word that tumbled out of their mouths after copiously imbibing the sweet drink. I mean, doesn't it just sound like a word you would make up after having one too many?

Mulled wine is the traditional drink served during advent, which are the four weeks leading up to Christmas. For some reason, Advent never really caught on as a celebration across the Atlantic, which is a shame, because it could be a chance to prolong (or should I say pre long) the holidays into the whole month of December.

Anyway, I digress - back to the booze. In the medieval times, sanitary sources of water were in short order and wine was thought to be cleaner and healthier. It was called Ypocras or Hipocris after the Greek Physician Hippocrates and was often served as a therapy for all sorts of ills. It was even given to children at their birthday parties, which is one way to get the kids to bed early, I guess.

Mulled wine goes by many names such as:

  • Glühwein – “glowing wine”, in Germany.
  • Glögg – In Scandinavia brandy or vodka is sometimes added.
  • Vin brulé – “burnt wine”, in Italy.

Don't worry about choosing a "good" wine for any of the below recipes. Any decent table wine will do. These recipes are fun, easy and quick so give it whirl.

Traditional Glühwein: Mulled Wine from Germany

Since I live in Munich, I'm going to start with a mulled wine recipe from Germany.

Ingredients for 1 Liter or 4 Cups of Mulled Wine:

  • 3/4 liter or just over 3 cups of red wine
  • 1/4 liter or 1 cup water
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Stars of anise
  • 1 organic lemon sliced (such as meyer lemon)
  • 1 organic orange sliced
  • 3 Table spoons sugar

Add wine and water, some cloves, the cinnamon, stars of anise and sugar to a pot and heat slowly. It should NEVER come to a boil. When warm add your slices of lemon and orange.

Here's another recipe from Germany. This one is flavored with Amaretto and Rum.

Ingredients for 4 People:

  • 1 Liter/4 Cups Red Wine
  • 50 ml/1.7 oz Rum
  • 20 ml/ 3/4 oz. Amaretto
  • 7 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Oranges, sliced

Heat the wine and spices in a large pot to just before the point of boiling. Turn off heat and add the Amaretto, Rum and oranges. Before serving pour through a sieve to remove the spices.

Glögg: Mulled Wine from Scandinavia

Scandinavia being just across the black sea from Russia is naturally influenced by their neighbors and what could be more Russian than vodka which is added to this very traditional version of glögg.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 3/4 liter/ 3 cups red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cloves
  • 12 cardamom seeds
  • 5 tsp granulated sugar
  • 240 ml/3/4 cup vodka
  • almonds
  • raisins

Add some raisins and blanched almonds to each mug and set aside.

Add all the ingredients except the vodka to a put and heat but do not boil. When warm stir in the sugar and let it dissolve. Finally add vodka and remove from heat.

Vin brulé

Serves 6.

  • 1 1/2 liters or 6 cups red wine
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 250 grams or 1 cup white sugar
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 organic oranges
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1 organic apple
  • 1 a pinch of nutmeg

First wash the oranges and lemons, then peel them, taking care not to include the pith (the white part which is too bitter for the mulled wine). Then wash the apple, core and slice it thinly.

To a large pot add wine, cinnamon sticks, sugar, cloves, sliced apple and citrus peel. Add a pinch of nutmeg.

Stir to dissolve sugar and as with all the above recipes heat until hot but not boiling.

More Mulled Wine Recipes

Mulled Wine with Rum

This is an interesting recipe that combines tea and rum with the spiced wine. It will serve 6 people.

  • 1/2 liter or 2 cups black tea
  • 125 g or 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 organic lemons *juiced
  • 2 organic oranges *juiced
  • 4-6 cloves
  • 1 medium sized piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1 bottle full bodied red wine (i.e. Bordeaux)
  • 1/8 liter or 1 cup rum

Make in a large pot pour the prepared tea over the sugar and stir to dissolve, add the cloves, cinnamon, lemon/orange juice, and wine and heat to the point of just before boiling. In a separate pot heat the rum but don't let it boil. When both are are add them together and serve.

Mulled Wine with Port

This is a really delicious version of mulled wine. It will serve 6.

  • 1/2 liter or 2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 3-4 allspice berries
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 250 ml or 1 cup port
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 rind from an organic lemon
  • 1 organic lemon sliced in thin slices

Bring the water and spices to a boil in a large pot. As soon as the water boils turn the flame down and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Carefully remove the spices and add the red wine, port, sugar, lemon rind and lemon slices. Stir stir until sugar is dissolved and the liquid is hot. Serve and enjoy.

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Mulled White Wine

This version of mulled wine is made with white wine instead of red and also has a hint of vanilla. It's not as sweet as some of the above recipes so you might want to prepare the recipe first as shown and then add sugar to taste in 1/4 cup increments. Serves 12.

  • 3 bottles white wine
  • 5 organic oranges *juiced
  • 50 g or 1/4 cup rum
  • 3 star anise
  • 10-15 cloves
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 3 allspice berries *crushed
  • 100g or 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla

Pour the white wine into a large pot. Then combine the orange juice and rum in another pot. When hot *but not boiling, combine the two liquids and add all the spices, sugar and vanilla. Continue to heat until hot and serve.

Article by Anne Alexander Sieder


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    • edelhaus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Munich, Germany

      Yes - lots and lots of xmass cookies!

    • erikzett profile image


      7 years ago

      I'll never forget the Christmas markets in Germany - we went to Germany after I got married. Big Christmas cookies and lots of Glühwein!

    • edelhaus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Munich, Germany

      Hi Rochelle - We've had a lot of snow, too and it's still coming down. We're having a big family gathering this eve (we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving a little late) and I'll definitely serve gluehwein to warm everybody up. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sounds lovely. When we were younger and went on skiing trips in the California High Sierras, one of our favorite apres ski activities was seeking out the German restaurant for schnitzel, spatezle, Alsatian kraut and Gluwein.

      Thanks for the recipes. We have had an early snow here in the foothills. I'm going to have to get my ingredients together for what may be a long, cold winter.


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