What Is Mulled Wine?

During the winter, particularly around Christmas, people like to sip mulled wine, which is a warm and comforting beverage.

It is a time-honored beverage that is produced by boiling red wine with a variety of spices and occasionally includes raisins or other fruits. The outcome is a delectable and fragrant beverage that warms the body within.

The history of mulled wine can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when wine was frequently heated and spiced to improve its flavor.

During the chilly winter months, ailments were supposed to be prevented by the therapeutic qualities of the spices used in mulled wine. Even in modern times, mulled wine is still valued for its comforting qualities and is frequently offered at holiday events.

It is absolutely worth giving mulled wine a try if you have never done so. It is a straightforward but delectable beverage that is simple to create at home.

Red wine can be heated up with flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to make a cozy beverage ideal for drinking on a chilly winter night. So why not give it a shot and discover why drinking mulled wine has long been a favorite Christmas tradition?

What is Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine is a warm beverage made by heating, sweetening, and flavoring wine with spices.

It is also known as spiced wine, and it is a popular drink during the winter months, especially during the holiday season. The drink dates back to ancient Roman times when it was used as a way to warm up during the cold winter months.

History of Mulled Wine

Mulled wine has a long history, dating back to ancient Rome. The Romans would heat wine and add spices to it, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The drink spread throughout Europe and became popular during the Middle Ages. It was often served at Christmas markets, where it was sold in mugs and garnished with orange slices and other fruits.

Ingredients for Mulled Wine

There are many different recipes for mulled wine, but the typical ingredients include red wine, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and a sweetener such as sugar or honey. Some recipes also call for the addition of fruit, such as apples or oranges, and other liquors such as brandy or rum. Mulling spices can be purchased pre-mixed, or you can create your own blend using whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom pods.

How to Make Mulled Wine

Making mulled wine is relatively simple. Start by heating the wine in a saucepan over low heat. Add your desired spices, sweetener, and any additional ingredients such as fruit or liquor. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, but do not let it boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve hot in mugs, garnished with orange slices or other fruits.

Mulled wine can also be made in a slow cooker, which is a great option if you are serving a crowd. Simply combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Ladle into mugs and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Mulled wine is a relatively low-calorie drink, with approximately 150 calories per 5-ounce serving. It is also low in cholesterol and sodium, and contains a small amount of fiber and protein. However, the alcohol content can vary depending on the recipe and the type of wine used. Mulled wine should be consumed in moderation, especially if you are driving or operating heavy machinery.

Overall, mulled wine is a delicious and festive drink that is perfect for the holiday season. Whether you are serving it at a party or enjoying a glass by the fire, it is sure to warm you up on a cold winter’s night.

History of Mulled Wine

Mulled wine has a long and storied history, dating back to ancient times.

The drink was originally created by the Romans, who heated wine to keep warm during the cold winter months. Over time, the recipe for mulled wine evolved, with different spices and ingredients added to the mix. Today, mulled wine is a popular drink around the world, especially during the holiday season.

Ancient Roman Times

The origins of mulled wine can be traced back to ancient Rome. The Romans were known for their love of wine, and they would often heat it up and add spices to create a warm, comforting drink. This practice was especially popular during the winter months, when the weather was cold and damp. Mulled wine was believed to have medicinal properties, and was thought to help ward off illness and keep the body warm.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, mulled wine became a popular drink throughout Europe. The recipe for the drink varied depending on the region, but it typically included wine, spices, and sometimes honey or sugar. Mulled wine was often served at feasts and banquets, and was considered a symbol of wealth and status. The drink was also used for medicinal purposes, and was thought to cure everything from the common cold to the plague.

Modern Times

Today, mulled wine is a popular drink around the world, especially during the holiday season. The recipe for the drink has evolved over time, with different spices and ingredients added to the mix. Most modern-day versions of mulled wine include orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, a dry red wine, and a bit of port or brandy. Mulled wine is often served at Christmas markets in Europe, and is a popular drink at holiday parties and gatherings.

Overall, the history of mulled wine is a fascinating one, dating back to ancient times. Whether enjoyed for its taste or its medicinal properties, mulled wine continues to be a beloved drink around the world.

Ingredients for Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a warm and comforting drink that is perfect for cold winter nights.

It is made by heating red wine with a variety of spices and other ingredients. The result is a delicious and aromatic drink that is perfect for sipping by the fire.


The most important ingredient in mulled wine is, of course, the wine itself. Red wine is typically used, although some recipes call for white wine or even beer. The type of wine used can vary, but some popular choices include merlot, zinfandel, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, syrah, and riesling. It is important to choose a wine that is fruity and not too dry.


The spices used in mulled wine are what give it its distinctive flavor. Some common spices used include cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and star anise. Other spices such as cardamom pods, pepper, and herbs can also be used. Whole spices are preferred over ground spices as they give a more intense flavor.


Fruit is often added to mulled wine to give it a fruity and sweet flavor. Some popular fruits used include oranges, lemons, apples, and cranberries. Orange slices and raisins are also commonly used. Citrus fruits are often used for their acidity, which balances the sweetness of the wine.


Mulled wine is typically sweetened with a variety of sweeteners. Honey, brown sugar, and fruit juice are popular choices. Bitter orange, which is a type of citrus fruit, can also be used to add sweetness. Some recipes call for biscuits or rice pudding to be added as a sweetener.


Additional alcohol can be added to mulled wine to give it an extra kick. Rum, bourbon, vodka, and other liquors are popular choices. Some recipes call for glogg, which is a type of spiced mulled wine that is traditionally made with vodka and almonds. Krasomelo, which is made with honey and cardamom, is another popular option.

Overall, mulled wine can be made with a wide variety of ingredients. The key is to choose ingredients that complement each other and create a delicious and aromatic drink. Whether you prefer a fruity and sweet mulled wine or a spicier version, there is a recipe out there for everyone.

How to Make Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a perfect winter drink that can be enjoyed by everyone.

It is a warm and flavorful beverage made by heating wine with spices, fruit, and sweeteners. This section will provide a classic mulled wine recipe, variations of mulled wine, and tips for making mulled wine.

Classic Mulled Wine Recipe

To make classic mulled wine, you will need:

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/4 cup of brandy (optional)


  1. Pour the wine into a large pot and add sugar.
  2. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the pot.
  3. Add the orange halves, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to the pot.
  4. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let the wine simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove the orange halves and spices from the pot.
  7. Add brandy (if using) and stir.
  8. Serve hot and garnish with orange slices or cinnamon sticks.

Variations of Mulled Wine

Mulled wine can be customized to your taste by adding different spices, fruits, and sweeteners. Here are some variations you can try:

  • White wine: Use white wine instead of red wine for a lighter flavor.
  • Apple cider: Substitute apple cider for some or all of the wine for a sweeter taste.
  • Honey: Use honey instead of sugar for a natural sweetener.
  • Ginger: Add fresh ginger for a spicy kick.
  • Cranberries: Add fresh or frozen cranberries for a tart flavor.

Tips for Making Mulled Wine

  • Use a slow cooker: If you have a slow cooker, you can make mulled wine in it. Set it to low and let it heat for 2-3 hours.
  • Don’t let it boil: Be careful not to let the wine come to a boil as it will cause the wine to turn bitter.
  • Garnish: Garnish your mulled wine with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, or cranberries for a festive touch.
  • Vin chaud: In France, mulled wine is known as vin chaud. It is often served at Christmas markets and holiday events.
  • Crowd-pleaser: Mulled wine is a great drink to serve at parties as it is easy to make and can be made in large batches.
  • Nutrition information: Mulled wine contains about 200 calories per serving, and it is low in cholesterol and sodium. It does not contain any fiber or protein.
  • Hot chocolate alternative: If you’re not a fan of hot chocolate, try mulled wine as a warm winter drink.

In Norway, mulled wine is known as “gløgg,” and it is a popular Christmas drink. With these tips and variations, you can create your own unique mulled wine recipe that is perfect for any occasion.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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