Traditional Mulled Wine Recipe With Brandy and Cinnamon

Mulled Spiced Wine
The Spruce
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Mulled wine, the wine drinker's version of a classic hot toddy, is a traditional holiday treat in many Old World countries. Dubbed "glögg" in Nordic nations and "glühwein" in Germany, mulled wines have been warming people for centuries. Typically made with red wine, the wine is sweetened, spiced, and heated—offering a delightful alternative to traditional hot coffees and ciders. Brandy adds a little extra jammy sweetness.

A dark, fruity red wine is best for this recipe, such as a cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, or merlot. And while the mulled wine will be affected by the quality of wine that you use, any subtle flavors touted by fine wines will be lost in the mix. A moderately-priced, good quality wine will do just fine.

When winter weather arrives, nothing could be cozier than a toasty mug of mulled wine. Lightly sweet, spiced, and fruity, it will warm you from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. It's also easy to make and perfect for a winter night in or a holiday gathering.

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Ingredients

  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle red wine (suggestions: cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, merlot)
  • 1 orange (peeled and sliced; keep the peel)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 8 to 10 cloves
  • 1/3 cup honey (or sugar)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated, or 2 teaspoons ground ginger; allspice can be substituted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for mulled wine
    The Spruce
  2. To make the perfect cup of mulled wine, combine all of the ingredients in either a large pot or a slow cooker.

    Mulled wine ingredients.
     The Spruce
  3. Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Avoid boiling or even simmering.

  4. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has dissolved completely. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been infused it is ready to serve.

    Homemade mulled wine.
     The Spruce
  5. Ladle the mulled wine into mugs (leaving the whole seasonings behind) and enjoy! Alternatively, you can strain the mulled wine before serving, garnishing with orange and cinnamon.

Tips

  • The 1/3 cup of honey or sugar does make a sweeter-styled mulled wine. Feel free to cut the sweetener to taste.
  • A fruit-forward wine is best for this recipe. Wines with very nuanced flavors will be lost to the spices, brandy, and fruit.
  • If serving as part of a buffet, transfer the mixture to a slow cooker or leave in a pot on the lowest possible setting to keep warm without over-cooking. If the mixture spends too much time on the heat, the flavor can become too intense since some of the water evaporates off.
  • If you're expecting a crowd, add two bottles of wine (or one magnum) to a large pot and double the remaining ingredients.
  • Toss in a few whole, fresh cranberries at the end for a festive look. Prep the mugs ahead of time by adding a cinnamon stick and an orange garnish to each.