There are few memories I have from childhood that come back as readily as my parent's parties around the holidays. There were always loads of people. I would scramble through the rooms with a view of only legs, and occasionally someone would pass me a cookie or treat or just whisk me up to sit on a counter so I could get a better view. The aroma of the house was intoxicating. Sweets and appetizers were everywhere, but the scent of the Mulled Wine meant the holidays were finally here. My mom would make a very big batch with boxed wine (no shade!) and have it simmering away for hours. The cinnamon and citrus and wine were strong scent cues for celebration and enjoying friends.
This recipe for Mulled Wine is so simple to throw together and probably has a couple more spices than what my mother used. It makes a terrific whole-house potpourri! You can have it ready for a small group or double it for a larger gathering. Batch cocktails, FTW! Either way, I hope you enjoy it with friends!
Ingredients and Preparation
As always, I'll tell you right off the bat that the best way to source these whole spices is in your local Asian market. You'll find whole spices at a much better price there than at a supermarket. Whole anise, cloves, and allspice berries bring some great flavor nuances to the Mulled Wine, and cinnamon sticks are a holiday staple. Besides that, citrus slices from an orange and a lemon will brighten up the wine and apple cider will sweeten the mixture. As for wine, a cabernet sauvignon or a merlot are good options here and boxed wine is totally fine. Really, boxed wine has come a long way since the late 70s and you'll find very reasonably priced ones out there that taste good all on their own.
Preparation is so easy, just a matter of slicing the citrus and pouring everything into a pot. You can throw the spices into a cheesecloth bundle to make serving easier, but I kind of like to see them simmering away on the stove so I leave them to float around. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, with bubbles just forming on the edges of the pot. You don't want the Mulled Wine to come to a boil. Let it simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes to get the flavors of the whole spices steeped into the wine.
Serving Mulled Wine
You have a few options for serving the Mulled Wine. If you plan to keep your spices in a cheesecloth bundle, you can leave the mixture simmering at the lowest heat and allow guests to ladle their cups as desired. What I usually do, however, is ladle each serving over a small (glass-sized) mesh strainer to remove the whole spices. Finally, you can strain the entire batch of Mulled Wine at once over a large bowl with a spout and then transfer the wine to a thermal carafe to keep it warm. No matter what method, I like to leave a platter of garnishes near the stove and then anyone can add what they wish to their glass.
Try it and share
I hope you try this Mulled Wine and share it with family or friends. You could be making sense memories this holiday season that last a lifetime. I want to see your results! Tag your photo with #planeatpostrepeat and mention me @planeatpostrepeat on Instagram or Facebook. I can give you a virtual high five and thank you for cooking one of my recipes! Comment below with any questions and please leave a review so others can find this recipe more easily.
If you are looking for a warm-weather wine cocktail option, try the Stone Fruit Sangria. There's always a good time for a wine cocktail! You'll get another chance to use that star anise, too, so it's worth it to buy a bag of whole spices at the Asian market.
- 10 allspice berries
- 2 5-inch sticks of cinnamon
- 10 cloves (whole)
- 4 star anise (whole)
- 1 lemon (sliced)
- 1 orange (sliced)
- 1 bottle red wine (750mL)
- 2 cups apple cider
- extra cinnamon sticks and citrus for garnish
- Bring all ingredients to a simmer on low heat in a large pot.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, and then reduce heat to keep warm.
- Ladle the mulled wine over a small mesh strainer over each serving glass or strain the entire batch and store the mulled wine in a thermal carafe.
Nutrition facts are sometimes provided below and are calculated using an online calculator. With specific brands of ingredients and additions, omissions, or substitutions the nutrition facts may change. We encourage you to use your own nutrition facts caculator to obtain the most accurate nutrition facts for your meal.