best mulled wine recipe for beginners

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you might think of mulled wine as a winter treat, reserved for those chilly nights by the fire but we've turned this winter favourite into a year-round drink – one that doesn’t need an occasion to be enjoyed.

thanks to our unique aussie seasons, we get to enjoy the drink at least in two seasons – during the traditional christmas and during our christmas in july. and beyond…if we’re in the mood. especially, because it’s easy to do so!

if you’re keen on enjoying it at home, let our simple mulled wine recipe guide you to make a sensational batch that’s guaranteed to bring that delicious taste to any setting, whether it's summer, winter or anything in between.

what is mulled wine?

when you turn a simple bottle of red wine and simmer it with a mix of spices and then sweeten it with honey or sugar, you elevate the wine to mulled wine. the delicious mix of red wine with spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anise creates a spiced wine that is served and enjoyed while hot. it’s perfect for cold evenings or even hot days!

while it’s traditionally a winter drink, there’s no stopping you from enjoying it on a warm day. it’s delicious on any day! and as you sip, it might bring visuals of christmas in the cold weather, with snowy streets and winter markets, adding to its charm.

how to make mulled wine?

let’s go over the ingredients before we get to the steps of our best mulled wine recipe.

wine: when selecting wine for your mulled wine recipe, go for a moderately priced bottle. look for a fruity and full-bodied variety, as it can withstand the heating process while maintaining its flavour. shiraz or merlot are excellent choices for mulled wine.

brandy: it complements the flavours of mulled wine exceptionally well, adding richness and depth to the drink. additionally, the warming effect of brandy enhances the warmth of mulled wine, making it particularly appealing during cold weather months. however, there are other alternatives also if you don’t like brandy. in that case, consider adding cointreau, cognac, rum or even bourbon to your recipe for mulled wine.

rooibos tea bags: we like to add teapigs spiced winter red tea bags (with rooibos tea and other spices) to our mulled wine recipe, as it infuses additional flavour and complexity into the drink. the unique blend of warm and earthy notes of the tea complements the mulling spices.

mulling spices: the selection of mulling spices can differ from one region/recipe to another, but the usual favourites include cinnamon, cloves and star anise. however, variations may include additional spices such as nutmeg, cardamom and ginger. we prefer to use whole spices rather than ground ones in our recipe for mulled wine, as they provide a more subtle flavour profile.

sweeteners and add-ons use the sweetener you like – as much as you like. while sugar is commonly used, we use honey to sweeten ours. some mulled wine recipes try other options like maple syrup or fruits.

now, let’s explore the steps of our recipe and learn how to make mulled wine at home.


Total Servings:-



Preparation Time:-

5 Minutes


Cooking Times:-

20 minutes


Nutritional Value:-

310 calories, 0g fat, 44g carbs, 1g protein


Recipe Category:-






  • saucepan or slow cooker,
  • heat-proof glasses or mugs

Given below is a list of all the ingredients used in our version of the best mulled wine recipe.


  • 750ml (1 bottle) of red wine
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ orange, thinly sliced
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 125ml brandy
  • 250ml cup of orange juice
  • 200g sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 4 teapigs spiced winter teabags (for spices and rooibos tea)
  • optional garnishes: orange or lemon zest, cinnamon sticks or fresh orange slices


organise ingredients:

collect all the necessary ingredients for your mulled wine recipe and ensure they are readily available before you begin the cooking process.

begin mulling:

start the process by placing a large saucepan over medium heat. then pour orange juice and sugar into it and allow the sugar to dissolve completely.

enhance with spices:

add the star anise pods, cinnamon sticks and cloves, and let these spices infuse the syrup with their flavours.

citrus slices:

to enhance the citrus notes already present in the syrup, add the thinly sliced lemon and orange to it.

wine time:

add the star ingredient – red wine – into the mixture, along with the teabags, keep the lid on and allow them to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. letting the mixture simmer allows the rooibos tea, spices, citrus and other ingredients to flavour the wine. stir periodically and remember not to let it boil.

brandy infusion:

add the brandy into the mixture – this adds a delicious extra dimension to the mulled wine.

stir and strain:

occasionally stir the mixture to ensure proper blending of flavours. once done, remove it from heat, take out the tea bags and strain the mulled wine.

fine-tune, garnish and enjoy:

now's the time to taste the mulled wine and fine-tune the sweetness, if required, by simply adding more honey. once it's just right, pour the mulled wine into glasses, garnish and enjoy.

ways to store your mulled wine

while it’s best to enjoy the success of your mulled wine recipe on the day it’s made, you can extend the enjoyment by properly storing the drink. let’s explore tips and tricks on how to make mulled wine last longer.

refrigeration: once your leftover mulled wine has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight glass container and refrigerate. this will keep it fresh for three to four days. when you're ready to enjoy it again, gently reheat the drink in a pot over low heat. you can even use your slow cooker on a low-cook setting. just a heads up – reheating the wine usually affects its flavour and it won’t retain the same vibrancy as when freshly made.

freezing: to extend the shelf life further, freeze your mulled wine. pour the cooled cocktail into an airtight glass container, leaving some space for expansion. another way to do this is by cooking off all the alcohol. to do that, boil your mulled wine and keep it on a rolling boil for about 5 minutes. you’ll notice that the mixture turns syrupy, and the alcohol evaporates. once the wine has cooled completely, pour what’s left into an ice tray and freeze.

smaller portions: you can consider scaling down your mulled wine recipe to make smaller batches, and consume it while it’s still fresh.

tips to craft the best mulled wine recipe

select an appropriate wine variety. the mulled wine recipe gives good results with a full-bodied red wine but there's no need to spend on an overly expensive bottle. as a guideline, select a wine that you find pleasant to drink by itself.

use whole spices and experiment with them. try to stay away from ground spices, as they may not fully dissolve into the wine and could show up on the surface of the drink. when shopping for spices, consider exploring alternative options for your mulled wine recipe, and don't hesitate to experiment with them. consider trying spices such as ginger, cardamom or nutmeg to customise your recipe for mulled wine.

avoid boiling the wine. boiling the wine can make the alcohol evaporate in the process.  

serve while it’s fresh. add garnishes for a final touch to your recipe for mulled wine. then serve immediately, to ensure the best taste and presentation.

customizations that could be done with mulled wine

A mulled wine recipe is versatile and lets you show your creativity in combining ingredients. While it’s made with a traditional base of red wine simmered with spices, sugar and citrus, there are numerous ways to put your unique twist:

White wine or Rose wine: You can switch out red wine for white wine or rose wine in your mulled wine recipe. These offer a lighter and fruitier profile, making it a refreshing alternative to the red one.

Chilled mulled wine: Experience a refreshing twist with a chilled drink. By cooling down your mulled wine and serving it over ice, you create the perfect option for warm weather like we have here in Australia.

Swedish variant: Explore the Swedish version of a mulled wine recipe, that you can craft in the same way as the traditional version. Just add flaked almonds and plump raisins. You can make it even more Scandinavian by infusing it with an extra pour of Aquavit (a caraway-flavoured liquor) into your glögg.

Non-alcoholic variant: For a non-alcoholic take on mulled wine, simply swap out the wine for apple or cranberry juice, keeping the same aromatic spices and fruit in the mix. 

ways to store your mulled wine

Storing the cocktail properly ensures that you can enjoy the success of your mulled wine recipe for days to come. So, let’s explore how to make mulled wine last longer through some effective ways:

  • Refrigeration: If you have leftover mulled wine, allow it to cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight glass container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. When you’re ready to enjoy, just reheat and enjoy. But avoid boiling it.
  • Freezing: To extend the shelf life, you must consider freezing your mulled wine. Pour the cooled cocktail into an airtight glass container, leaving some space at the top for expansion. Seal tightly and store it in the freezer for up to a month.
  • Wine preservers: Invest in a wine preservation system that gets rid of the air from the bottle and prevents oxidation. This is very useful if you want to store opened bottles of the drink for a longer duration.
  • Smaller portions: If you find yourself with leftovers very often, you can consider downsizing your mulled wine recipe to make smaller batches. The smaller portions would be easier to consume within a day or two.


well, that’s a wrap on the basics of how to make mulled wine! but now, it’s your turn to take this guide and turn into the best mulled wine recipe you’ve tried. you can do it!

the good part is that it’s an easy recipe for mulled wine and you won’t wrong with it. there’s plenty of room for creativity also, from choosing your favourite wine to experimenting with different spices.

so next time you're craving a cosy drink, just pull out the mulled wine recipe and make a batch, garnish it and enjoy the comforting warmth and its festive aroma.

faqs on mulled wine recipe

Q. how long should mulled wine simmer?

A. simmer for 15 to 20 minutes over low to medium heat to infuse it with the flavour of all the ingredients. you can even go up to an hour, as per some mulled wine recipes. for better flavour infusion, cover the pot and avoid boiling the wine.

Q. what's the difference between mulled wine and normal wine?

A. regular wine is typically served at room temperature and maintains its natural flavours without any additional ingredients or heating. however, when this regular wine is warmed and infused with spices, fruits and sweeteners, it transforms into mulled wine. the drink is usually associated with winter months but it’s enjoyable year-round.

Q. what is the best type of wine for mulled wine?

A. the best type of wine for mulled wine is typically a full-bodied red wine like merlot or shiraz. they offer a rich base that pairs well with spices. while quality matters, there's no need to overspend – go for a mid-range bottle for your mulled wine recipe.

Q. is it ok to microwave mulled wine?

A. while it’s possible to microwave mulled wine for reheating, it's not ideal. microwaving can unevenly heat the drink and lead to changes in its flavour. it's better to reheat mulled wine gently on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. those’re better ways to maintain its taste.


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