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There’s no better way to cozy up in cold weather than with traditional mulled wine, and it’s super easy to make when you pull out your handy slow cooker!
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I first came across mulled wine at the Christmas Markets in England when we spent a year abroad. Mulled wine, also known as hot wine or spiced wine, is the perfect drink to enjoy on a cold night or serve at holiday gatherings.
Mulled wine can be made on the stove top but since it tastes best when allowed to simmer and let all the flavors blend together, I prefer slow cooking this festive drink. Plus, a slow cooker is the perfect way to keep homemade mulled wine warm when you are hosting a Christmas party or get-together.
Skipping the alcohol? Try this slow cooker mulled cider instead!
- cinnamon sticks
- star anise
- apple cider
- full red wine (I used cabernet)
- fresh cranberries
Step by step
- Halve the orange and squeeze the juice into the slow cooker.
- Add juiced orange and all other ingredients (whole spices, do not grate!) to the crock pot and set to high for 4 hours or the low setting for 6 hours.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove fruit and spices before serving.
This mulled wine recipe is perfect for holiday parties, I would double or triple the recipe for a batch sized for a crowd. My 6 quart Crockpot (this one) could easily hold this recipe doubled, you may need to use a larger slow cooker to triple it.
Many hot wine recipes add brandy to the final drink (like traditional sangria). If you’d like to give your mulled wine a little extra kick stir in 1/4 cup of brandy before serving. You can experiment with adding in apple juice or orange juice as well.
You can also experiment with the delicious warm spices to suit your taste. Although this is the best mulled wine recipe I’ve tried you can try adding cardamom pods too or use maple syrup instead of honey.
In the Christmas markets they serve this drink up in simple paper cups or mugs but at home I like to use a stemless wine glass and garnish with rosemary sprigs and orange slices or make an orange peel spiral made with a vegetable peeler, and maybe a stick of cinnamon if I have extra on hand.
You can also serve it alongside Moose Milk, a spiked ice cream cocktail.
Allow the leftover mulled wine to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
You can also call this drink hot wine, spiced wine, grogg, vin brulé (Italian), or vin chaud (French).
You need a nice full-bodied bottle of red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfindel, Malbec, Pinot Noir, or Syrah when making this recipe so that the sweetness doesn’t overtake the taste of the wine. Because combine wine with so many other flavors in the mulling spices you can get away with using a relatively inexpensive wine, no need to purchase an expensive bottle.
Technically you can freeze the wine but the alcohol will not allow it to freeze all the way. It will freeze into a slushie-like consistency. If you want it to freeze hard bring it to a rollling boil for 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol and then freeze.
Yes, add all ingredients to a large pot and cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes. Do not allow the wine to come to a boil or the alcohol will burn off.
If you’ve tried this recipe please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!