How to make mulled wine - the best mulled wine recipe

Learn how to make the best mulled wine with our easy recipe. We even show you how to make mulled wine in a slow cooker which couldn't be simpler!

Mulled wine recipe

Learn how to make the best-mulled wine with our easy recipe. We even show you how to make mulled wine in a slow cooker which couldn't be simpler!

There are many rumours about the true origins of mulled wine but it was most likely invented by the Romans around the second century to keep them warm in the various cold European countries they invaded. The spices, picked up as their armies marched through Asia, helped to protect their army’s immune system from chilly winters in Bavaria and Brittania. And these punchy aromatics also helped to preserve the wine after it had been released from the flask, meaning nothing ever went to waste.

According to the earliest records, the Roman's mulled wine - arguably one of the best Christmas cocktails (opens in new tab) - would have been even more heavily spiced than the sweet and mild version we know today. The Roman recipe had a real kick to it, with ginger, galangal, rosemary, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, ginger, peppercorns, Indian root plants and marjoram. And it was treated more as a medicinal recipe, due to the spices - giving mulled wine real health benefits (opens in new tab), with the added bonus of alcohol of course.

Later, adopted by us Brits, the wine became more recreational and attached to the cold winter months until it became the Christmas staple we know and love today. (And quite possibly the reason we end up googling the best hangover cures (opens in new tab) come December.)

Mulled wine

The same thing happened in Germany, where the Roman tradition took hold, and mulled wine is now an annual staple of those wonderful UK Christmas markets (opens in new tab) we all love. The Germans call it ‘Gluhwein’ and they have many variations on the recipe, including adding fresh orange, citrus peel and vanilla to the brew. Gluhwein is so loved by the Germans that other types of warmed alcohol wines have also become part of the Winter culture, such as hot blueberry wine and cherry wine. There is even a non-alcoholic version of Gluhwein for children called Kinderpunsch, made from hot spiced fruit juices.

How to make mulled wine at home

Mulled wine

You can scale this down if you just want a cosy night in, or make in a big batch for when you’re entertaining - it’s a real crowd pleaser and so easy to make at home.

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 75cl bottle red wine
  • 300ml (1/2pt) water
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) orange juice
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Mulled wine spice sachet
  • 150 ml (1/4pt) brandy
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple

Method

  1. For this classic winter, Christmas cocktail place the wine, water, orange juice, sugar and Mulled Wine Spice Sachet in a large saucepan.
  2. Heat to just below boiling point and hold this temperature for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the sachet. Stir in the brandy and fruit – then enjoy!
Calories166 kCal8%
Fat0.1g0%
  -  Saturates0.0g0%
Carbohydrates12.6g8%
  -  of which Sugars11.9g13%
Protein0.8g2%
Salt0.02g

How to make mulled wine in a slow cooker

Mulled wine

Making mulled wine in a slow cooker (opens in new tab) means you just add in all the ingredients, let them mull away whilst you put up a few Christmas decorations and then ta-dah, its ready to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Ingredients

  • 75cl bottle red wine
  • 300ml (1/2pt) water
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) orange juice
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Mulled wine spice sachet
  • 150 ml (1/4pt) brandy
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple

Method

  1. Add all of the ingredients apart from the brandy and fruit into the bowl of your slower cooker.
  2. Turn on and set to low. Allow to heat and infuse for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  3. Remove the sachet. Stir in the brandy and fruit and enjoy!

If you fancy something a little different, why not try our recipe for Mulled Wine Slushies (opens in new tab), they'll go down a treat!

What’s the best wine for mulled wine?

Have you ever stood in the supermarket aisle wondering which wine would be best to mull? Wine expert Raul Diaz shares his tips when it comes to choosing the perfect bottle of red wine for making mulled wine...

'Malbec is a very popular choice for mulled wine. The wine has a soft texture with lots of black fruits and vanilla notes. It also has great acidity which will make the mulled wine easy to drink.' says Raul Diaz, author of Wines & Recipes (opens in new tab). He also recommends a Shiraz; with its intense flavours of blackberries and black cherries, as well as being full bodied. It has spices and chocolate notes that will improve the taste of the mulled wine.

Primitivo is also a great option. One of the best grapes from the south of Italy, Primitivo has some jammy red and black fruits. It also has sweet spices and a touch of oak that go well with the mulled wine’s own spices.

Top supermarket mulled wines

Morrisons Mulled Wine 75cl

Price: £3 A real festive favourite, this Mulled Wine is an aromatic infusion of cinnamon, clove spices, nutmeg and citrus fruits providing a rich and warming character. Traditional Recipe, Aromatic & Spicy, Suitable for vegetarians & vegans View at: Morrisons (opens in new tab)

Asda Mulled Wine 75cl

Price: £3 A rich and warming mulled wine crafted with the finest festive flavours to give an aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove spices and zesty citrus fruits. Zesty aromatic orange. An Aromatic Spicy Mulled Wine. Warming cinnamon citrus fruity. Suitable for vegetarians & vegans.

View at: Asda (opens in new tab)

Waitrose Mulled Wine 75cl

Price: £5.49, or 2 for £10 (until 3rd January) This wonderfully exotic Mulled Wine is a sun-kissed Tempranillo-led blend from Spain offering layers of richness intertwined with warming clove and cinnamon notes. Simply warm gently and serve.

View at: Waitrose (opens in new tab)

M&S Mulled Wine 75cl

Price: £5, or 2 for £8 As the temperatures drop it's officially time to bring out the Mulled Wine! Rich, fruity and spicy, our Red Mulled Wine is the perfect ready-to-drink treat to keep you cosy. Pick up in stores only.

Visit: M&S (opens in new tab)

Tesco Mulled Wine 75cl

Price: £2.50 Sweet and fruity with subtle spicy flavours. Blended with cinnamon, clove and citrus fruits to give a rich aromatic Mulled Wine with warming, spicy notes. Warm slowly in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Avoid boiling as this will spoil the rich, spicy flavours.

View at: Tesco (opens in new tab)

Aldi Specially Selected Mulled Wine 75cl

Price: £4.99 A true Christmas corker – a deep, full-bodied red made with Spanish Tempranillo wine and bursting with traditional flavours. Clove and warming cinnamon are complemented by overtones of oak, spice and red fruits. Serve warm or at room temperature.

View at: Aldi (opens in new tab)

Tesco Mulled Wine Spices 75cl

Price: £1.50 If you fancy making your own this festive season, they you'll need all the right kit... This blend of dried fruit and spices from Tesco makes for a testy mulled wine. Just simmer in red wine for a festive warming drink.

View at: Tesco (opens in new tab)

Co-op Mulled Drink 75cl

Price: £4.50 Co-op's Mulled Drink blends the finest flavours in a celebration of traditional festive cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and zesty citrus fruits to produce a delicious infusion that is spicy, rich and medium bodied. Best served gently warmed to bring out the fruity aromas and rich flavours. Add halved oranges and cinnamon sticks if required for visual effect.

View at: Co-op (opens in new tab)

With over 12 years of experience, arts graduate Keiron turned to food to channel his creativity, specifically cake decorating. Keiron set up his wedding cake business in 2015. And, in late 2016 won a scholarship at the world-renowned culinary institute - Le Cordon Bleu, London, where he studied the art of French Pâtisserie. He's worked in some of London’s finest 5-star hotels, collecting a wealth of knowledge along the way. As a Food Writer and Stylist food isn’t just a job, it truly is Keiron's passion.