How-To Make (Perfectly) Spiced Wine

As temperatures start to drop, it’s a given that hot alcohol is better than cold alcohol. Perfect for your next holiday party or get-together, mulled wine is an easy and festive way to warm up your guests. The word “mulled” simply means heated and spiced. Many liquids can be mulled – but for this recipe we’re focusing on wine. The concept of mulled wine is very simple: take wine, heat it, and season with various spices. Tracing its roots back hundreds of years, there are many variations of this traditional recipe but the key ingredients always stay the same: cinnamon, cloves, and citrus.

Mulled wine and ingredients on rustic wood background

In addition to the basics, many different spices can be used, so feel free to experiment with your own flavors in future batches. The recipe is only as limited as your imagination! Another thing to remember is that you don’t need to use expensive wine for mulling. Technically you’re “ruining” the wine anyways when you heat it, so there’s no point in breaking the bank. We recommend buying something red, drinkable, and not too sweet, for under $10. Even boxed wine will do the trick! Here’s our favorite recipe for mulled wine. Enjoy!

Mulled wine ingredients on dark stone background, top view


4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle of dry red wine, such as Chianti
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
1 orange


Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan. Juice the orange and add the juice to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until flavors have melded, about 20 minutes. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or an orange wheel, if desired. Serve immediately.