The Mulled Red Wine Recipe That Will get You Through the Rest of Winter

With many months of winter ahead, there’s no better time to curl up and enjoy this warming, seasonal drink.

Mulled wine is said to date back to second century Rome. It became popularized throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, then gained particular significance as a Christmas tradition in the Victorian Era. Today, the drink is enjoyed as both a festive and cold-weather favourite around the world.

The basic recipe consists of red wine, a blend of spices (typically cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and star anise), and various sliced fruits, all of which are heated and served warm. This is a great way to use up cheap, lower-quality wines since the heat and other ingredients will provide the main flavour profile. Look for fruity, full-bodied, and dry red wines to create the best balance – a Merlot, Cab Sauv, or Zinfandel would work well.

Mulled Red Wine (5-6 servings)


1 bottle red wine

1 cup apple cider

1 medium orange, sliced

3 cinnamon sticks (plus extra for garnish)

3 star anise pods

1 tablespoon whole cloves

1-3 tablespoons sweetener of your choice


Add and stir all ingredients in a large pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, being careful not to boil it. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and let the mixture sit anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Ladle the mulled wine into serving glasses, add any additional garnishes, and serve!

There’s a lot of room for variation in terms of what spices, fruits, and liquids you can add. Think about substituting the apple cider for orange juice, adding some freshly grated ginger, or mixing in a splash of rum, brandy, or other liqueur for an extra-warm finish.