The Ultimate Guide to Mulled Wine: From Ingredients to Serving

Have you ever tried spiced wine? What about hot or warm wine? If you answered no to both questions, don’t fret because you’ve come to the right place! Of course, we only want the best for our dear readers, so we’ve made a guide about mulled wine. 

Mulled wine is easy to make at home and is perfect if you want to spend a cozy night or entertain guests. Here, we will share its quirky history, how to make one at home, and more. 

Are you ready to spice up your red wine? We’re sure you’ll make dozens of this because it’s simply delicious! 

Getting to Know Mulled Wine


Mulled wine is a traditional drink commonly made with red wine. For some, mulled wine is synonymous with cozy Christmas weather. And for most, it is a spiced wine to bring to light. 


Glühwein, Krasomelo, and Glögg are some of mulled wine’s other names. It tastes like a regular red wine but with the added depth of flavored spices, herbs, and fruits. It has the right sweetness and fruity taste that complement the warmth of the drink. 

Some mulling spices you may taste are cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. The citrus flavor from oranges and other fruits also adds acidity to the taste of wine. With its festive flavors, it is no wonder why mulled wine is well-loved during holidays. 

Alcohol Content

Mulled wines usually contain about 7% to 14.5% of alcohol. Contrary to what most people say, heating alcohol does not make it evaporate quickly. It is not like boiling water on a double steamer that effortlessly dissipates whenever you steam your favorite dumpling. 

But it is true that the longer you cook it, the more alcohol moves out. Although, cooking the red wine for 30 minutes does not apply to mulled wines. Most of the alcohol is still retained even after cooking. 

The Story Behind Mulled Wine


What is the festive history behind this popular drink, and why do people often associate it with Christmas?

It all started when the Romans added spice to heated wines during the 2nd century BC. They enjoyed their warm wine during the winter season. Much so that they even traded it while they traveled across Europe. 

It continued to spread across regions and became popular over time. Europeans added herbal ingredients, flowers, and spices to conquer sickness and add flavor. Different recipes started developing, and merchants had their unique styles to share.  

Fast forward to the 1890s, mulled wine started popping up on the German wine market during Christmas. It became a global phenomenon that each country developed its own mix. You can even spot a photo of Santa Claus holding a glass of mulled wine. That’s how invested they are when it comes to festive drinks. 

Today, mulled wine continues to be labeled the traditional Christmas drink of Europe.  

How To Make Homemade Mulled Wine


No matter the season, mulled wine is perfect for cozy nights when you feel like relaxing and treating yourself to a warm, healthy drink. Not to mention that this is super easy to make, and it only takes 15 minutes to finish. 

Take a look at this ingredient list. Maybe you have some at your home already.

  • A bottle of dry red wine
  • Orange sliced into rounds
  • One to two cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pcs. star anise
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. sugar or honey
  • 60 ml brandy or rum

Red wine is the pillar of mulled wine. So choosing the right bottle of red can result in a good good-tasting drink. If you’re unsure what to get, keep reading because we’ve got recommendations for you. 

Making Mulled Wine


Are you ready to make your own mulled wine at home? Don’t blink an eye because it’s so simple you have a mulled wine before you know it. 

Let’s start! Combine red wine, brandy, cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, honey, and sliced orange in a medium saucepan. 

Once all the ingredients are combined, place the saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Then, reduce to low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.  

After heating, you can transfer it to a glass while still warm. And that’s it! You have yourself a mulled wine. We told you it’s going to be fast and easy. 

If you want to try out other fruits like kumquats, apples, and cranberries, watch this video: 

Mulled Wine Non-Alcoholic Alternative

We understand that alcohol is not for everyone. So don’t worry because we got you! There are ways that you can enjoy mulled wine without liquor. And no, it does not mean evaporating the alcohol for more than three hours. That would be too cumbersome for a light treat. Here’s how to do it.  

Non-alcoholic alternative means replacing alcoholic ingredients with healthier ones. All you need to do is switch red wine with cherry or grape juice. Then try mixing it with honey, orange, cherry, and cinnamon sticks. The process is still the same with alcoholic mulled wine. It is only the ingredients that differ.

Try out this other non-alcoholic mulled wine recipe. It has no artificial sugar and is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Plus, it is made out of pomegranate and cranberry juice!

Bottle Picks: Best Red Wines To Use


Remember when we said red wine is the pillar of mulled wine? Choosing the right red wine is crucial in creating mulled wine. It should be able to carry the flavors of the spices but still, balance them well. It should be rich and full-bodied to complement other ingredients. 

A bottle of red labeled with jammy or notes of vanilla usually does well. Here are four red wines that you can mix with mulled spices. 

  • Zinfandel: has jammy flavors filled with a fruity aroma, spicy kick, and smoky body. It is full-bodied with high alcohol content and dry style.  
  • Malbec: it is known for its deep purpler color and full body. It has jammy fruit flavors and high savory notes. Some of which include coffee, leather, and black pepper. 
  • Merlot: it is a dry, medium-to-full-bodied wine with moderate acidity. It has a wide array of flavors ranging from blackberries to cocoa. It also has vanilla and clove notes to it.
  • Grenache: it has a medium-to-full-body with cinnamon hit flavor. Packed with aromatic fruit scents and tobacco, this became a crowd-pleasing wine in no time. 

Proven Health Benefits: Why You Should Drink This?


Aside from the warmth a glass can give you, mulled wine is also brimming with goodness beneficial for your health.

  • It has antiviral properties. Mulled wine set out to be a perfect wintery hot drink because it helps prevent seasonal illnesses such as colds and viral lung infections. Tannins contained in the wine have an antiviral effect that attacks viruses. Carnations and cinnamon spices infused in the wine also help with a cold. 
  • It slows down aging. It is time to consider mulled wine as the next fountain of youth. Red wine, the main ingredient, is abundant with resveratrol. This compound prevents and treats aging and age-related diseases. Thanks to its various bioactivities, we can keep our bodies young and healthy.
  • It helps improve brain function. With aging comes declined cognitive function. But thanks to resveratrol, it can help improve memory performance based on studies. This compound stops toxic immune molecules from getting into the brain tissue, protecting it from damage. Adding nutmeg to mulled wine also helps stimulate the brain, improve concentration, and lessen fatigue. 
  • It is heart-healthy. Mulled wine contains antioxidants that increase “good” cholesterol and reduce the “bad” cholesterol. It also helps protect against cholesterol buildup to prevent life-threatening conditions like heart attacks. Aside from this, alcohol may improve the cell layer that lines the blood vessels.  
  • It helps lower blood sugar. Studies suggest that drinking red wine in moderation prevents people at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. The cinnamon infused in mulled wine also helps support blood sugar management and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. 
  • It is healthy for your digestive system. Mulled wine infused with different herbal ingredients is beneficial for your gut. Cinnamon and cloves both help remove digestive parasites that cause gastrointestinal distress. Ginger also acts as a digestive tonic that helps improve appetite.

Nevertheless, drinking mulled wine should be taken with extra precaution. If you have any underlying conditions, it is best to choose non-alcoholic alternatives. Remember that hot drinks make alcohol travel faster in the bloodstream. Take it lightly, and enjoy the warmth it brings.  

Take Away

Mulled wine is a festive drink famous in Europe, especially during Christmas. It has balanced flavors of spices, herbs, and fruit that add depth to the red wine. 

Mulled wine is also easy to make at home, whether the traditional one or the non-alcoholic style. You don’t need fancy equipment to create one. All you need is the fruits and herbs of your choice, and you’re good to go. Aside from its easy preparation, mulled wine offers health benefits that can protect our bodies from severe conditions. 

Start making your own mulled wine and discover its festive taste profile.

Mulled Wine

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