This is the Best Mulled Wine Recipe to prepare for cooler months. Mix up a big batch to serve guests at your next holiday party. Don't waste time mixing up individual drinks, add bottles of red wine to a slow cooker or crock pot with your favorite mulling spices, seasonal fruit, and your favorite spirit if desired.
This tasty warm spiced wine isn't just for Christmas markets, you can make it very easily at home! If you love warm cocktails, you'll adore this tasty, easy-to-make, festive holiday drink.
❤️Why we love this recipe
- Perfect holiday parties - If you're on drink duty for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas time, or any other gathering during the holiday season, this recipe is sure to delight. It's also incredibly easy to make.
- Curl up in the cold winter months - This hot wine cocktail will warm your bones on a cold night. It's perfectly cozy and comforting with warm spices and feels like a big hug!
- Serve a crowd - No need to spend hours mixing up individual-sized drinks. Guests can serve themselves with less effort.
- Naturally gluten-free, vegan, and refined-sugar free - Since this recipe is sweetened with pure maple syrup and whole fruit, there are no weird processed sugars in this drink. It's also naturally completely plant-based and gluten-free.
Here are the ingredients we used for the mulled wine. You can find more information for substitutions below.
- Seasonal fruits - You can use anything you like, including orange slices, pear and apple slices, frozen or fresh cranberries, pomegranates, and more!
- Red wine of choice - You can choose any bottles of red wine you like, but just make sure it's something you enjoy drinking on its own. You don't need to choose an expensive bottle, but you don't want the cheap stuff either. We generally opt for something drier like a cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir to complement the fruit and spices without overpowering it.
- Whole spices - We used a mixture of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, a couple of star anise, and cardamom pods.
- Pure maple syrup
Visit the recipe card for the full quantities and nutritional information.
✨Substitutions & variations
Here are a few simple swaps you can make to make this mulled wine more suited to your preferences.
- Low carb. Use a drier red-wine, and substitute the pure maple syrup for a sugar-free version (affiliate link) or a delicious brown sugar replacement.
- Different sweetener. You can always sweeten this drink with what you have on hand. You can use sugar, honey, agave syrup, or simple syrup. You can also use all fruit juice to sweeten the drink.
- Citrusy. Orange complements this mulled wine so nicely, feel free to inject more orange flavor! A few suggestions would be adding some orange peel (dried or fresh), or even a little orange zest.
- Add fruit juices. Adding fruit juices in place of maple syrup can be another great way to sweeten this drink. Some suggestions would be cranberry juice, orange juice, apple cider or apple juice (try our homemade sugar free apple cider!) or even a little homemade grenadine.
- Sweeter. This is really a sweeten to taste type of drink. If you like sweet, we recommend opting for a fruity red wine, fruit juice, or more maple syrup to taste.
- Add more spices or aromatics. Fresh ginger pieces, vanilla bean pods, whole allspice berries, or whole nutmeg are great additions to this drink. Add as much or as little spice as you want.
- Add fruit. Feel free to add your favorite seasonal fruits. Sometimes we like to add persimmons,
- Use white wine. Though this recipe is traditionally made with red wine, you can also use white!
- Swap the liquor. Not a fan of bourbon? Try adding brandy, or even apple brandy, or spiced rum instead. You can also omit the liquor entirely.
- Cut fruit. Cut apples, oranges, and pears into thin slices.
- Measure out ingredients. Now all that's left to do to is measure out the remaining ingredients, so this comes together quickly and easily.
In a large pitcher slow cooker, combine wine (Image 1) with bourbon, and maple syrup. (Image 2)
Add in apple, orange, and pear slices. (Image 3) Now, cranberries and the whole spices. (Image 4)
Cover, and cook on low for about 1 hour to heat. Keep the slow cooker on a warm setting so the drinks stay warm but don't cook off the alcohol. (Image 5)
Ladle into serving mugs, and serve piping hot. Garnish with more fruit or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy! (Image 6)
✨Tips and tricks
- Don't boil the mixture. This will cook off all the alcohol! We just want to gently warm the drink.
- Avoid bits of spices. If you like to avoid any small bits of spices, you can wrap whole spices in a cheesecloth and secure them with twine so they don't disperse into the wine at all as the mixture simmers.
💭Frequently Asked Questions
We don't recommend using ground spices in this recipe, as they can become gelatinous and slimy. Whole spices should be used in this recipe.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. We like leaving the fruit in the wine so more flavor infuses, but, be aware the fruits will absorb some of the wine.
The mixture will also become more spiced the longer it sits, so keep this in mind and omit the spices before storing if you like. We personally love how the flavor develops and becomes warmer and more spiced over time.
You can always enjoy it again cold the next day. If you prefer warm wine, reheat in the slow cooker on the low setting, or on the stove top over low heat in a dutch oven or large pot.
Other Drink Recipes To Consider
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Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
- large crock pot or slow cooker (7-quart or larger)
- 2 bottles red wine (choose a drier
- 4 ounces bourbon whisky (to taste)
- 4 ounces maple syrup (to taste)
- 2 medium oranges, sliced into rounds
- 2 medium apples, sliced into rounds
- 2 medium pears, cut into pieces lengthwise
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise pieces
- 3 cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- Add all ingredients to a crock pot or large slow cooker. Cover, and set to low heat until the mixture is warmed through. This should take about 1 hour.
- Set to keep warm setting, and ladle into glasses. Garnish with fresh fruit and a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on low heat on the stovetop in a dutch oven or in the slow cooker. Do not boil.
- For best results, do not boil the mixture, or you will cook off the alcohol.
- Feel free to add or omit any fruit or spices you like. Some other great additions for flavor include (but aren't limited to) persimmons, pomegranate arils, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla bean pods, and fresh ginger.
- You can sweeten to taste with your preferred sweetener, including keto maple syrup, honey, white or brown sugar, agave, and more. You can also use a fruity red wine for a sweeter taste.
- Add orange, cranberry, apple juice, apple cider, or grenadine for extra sweetness and flavor. Fruit juice can also replace maple syrup.
- Wrap whole spices in cheesecloth if you like to prevent ant bits from breaking off when slow cooking.
- When storing leftovers, be aware that the fruit will absorb liquid, and the mixture will become more spiced as it sits.
- You can swap the bourbon for any liquor of your choice. You can also omit added liquor if you prefer.