Easy Mulled Wine Recipe For First-Timers With Step-By-Step Instructions

by Mama Loves A Drink

An easy mulled wine recipe with step-by-step instructions to make delicious mulled wine at home.

if you are looking for a delicious yet easy-to-make mulled wine recipe, you are in the right place!

Mulled wine is an extraordinarily popular Christmas recipe; so popular, in fact, that picking one to follow and trust for your Christmas guests can be overwhelming.

But we are here to help!

At Mama Loves a Drink we are all about delicious yet easy recipes and of course we have one for mulled wine: there’s nothing quite like the warm spices to tickle your nose and fill your heart with festive memories, this is a Christmas classic!

There are PLENTY of variations on how to make mulled wine, and the fact we all have our different recipes passed down via generations and across nationalities is one of the wonderful things we LOVE about the world of beverages – we all have our own personal taste preferences and there’s no one right recipe.

That said, we trust you’ll love this one, a firm favourite in our own households!

This recipe is part of our favourite Christmas Cocktails series. You may also like to check out our non-alcoholic drinks collection for perfect Christmas Mocktails.

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Tools you will need for mulling Wine

Mulling wine means to heat, sweeten and spice wine, therefore to make mulled wine, you need a wine, spices and a heat source.

In particular, you need the following mulling wine essentials:

  • Medium Saucepan
  • Chopping knife
  • Sieve
  • Serving glasses or mugs
  • Serving ladle

Mulling wine recipe ingredients

Red wine – for best results, we recommend a full-bodied red but don’t worry too much! Since you’re going to flavour the wine with lots of spices, you don’t need an expensive bottle or a wine with plenty of flavorsome layers.

Any mid-range red is going to work well.

Spices – for the perfect Christmas flavor and smell, you want spices that evoke the festive season. Our favourite spices for mulled wine are:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Clove
  • Allspice
  • Star Anise
  • Juniper Berry
  • Orange zest

Easy mulled wine recipe: step by step making process

Yield: Approximately 6 serves

Easy Mulled Wine Recipe

Mulled wine with spices

The classic Christmas beverage mulled wine is a favourite winter warmer that's super simple to make. For this easy version, you can use the sugar you have at home and mid-range red wine: no need to hit the shops for expensive ingredients unless you want yo!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 750ml Red Wine
  • 1 orange sliced (plus extra to garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (plus extra to garnish)
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 grated nutmeg
  • 60ml brandy (optional)


  1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan
  2. Stir gently and bring to a simmer, but not a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer gently for a further 10-15 minutes
  3. If serving in a bowl, pour your mulled wine into your serving bowl, so that the spices stay in the sieve and the drink is smooth. If you want, you can then add again star anise and citrus peel as a garnish in individual glasses
  4. Ladel into elegant heat-proof glassware with handles, or your favourite mug
  5. If serving directly from the pot, use a ladle and a small sieve to fill each individual glass. One star anise per glass makes for a lovely presentation.

The best sugar for mulled wine

You can use any sugar you have at home to make mulled wine; however, caster sugar and demerara sugars work best.

Caster sugar is ideal for mulled wine as it is less coarse than others and dissoves quickly.

Demerara sugar is the best sugar to use on mulled wine for taste, as it has a mild caramel taste that gives depth to the overall flavor and goes well with the orange slice.

If using demerara sugar to make mulled wine, make sure it is well dissolved in your wine: heat will make the process super easy but don’t be surprised if it takes a while as demerara sugar takes a little longer than white sugar to dissolve.

Another option is maple syrup (looking at you my Canadian friends!) You can always add a little more than a recipe suggests if you really prefer your wine sweet.

More variations to mulled wine

There are so many variations on mulled wine that have been passed through the generations and from family to family, so really feel free to make it your own.

One of the most popular, which is quite similar in many respects to our traditional mulled wine recipe is glögg which originated from Scandinavia.

It’s a slightly more complex and potent brew incorporating port or brandy (or both!) as well as wine, along with a wonderful raisin and subtle almond finish.

We also love a mulled cider too – pop on over hear for our favourite mulled cider recipe.

And for those with a Thermomix, this is super quick and easy to whip up a batch in your Thermie, check out our Thermomix Mulled Wine recipe here.

What sort of red wine do I need for mulled wine?

The key to a good red for mulled wine is to look for a more full-bodied and fruit-forward red wine, relatively high in tannins. Something like a Californian Zinfandel will do the job, or a Grenache or a Malbec. Don’t go raiding your cellar, we would suggest going for something fairly inexpensive from your local bottle shop or supermarket.

White mulled wine?

Why not? Traditionally made with a red or red blend, but you can have a go at whites too, particularly if you react to reds you could experiment with an aromatic white such as a Muscato, Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

Pre-packaged mulled wine spices

Pre-packaged mulled wine spice kits will make our “easy” mulled wine recipe even easier! Trust me, I used these kits for years until I was brave enough to make the real thing. Simply add your red wine to the pot and let the added spice kit do all the work for you without needing to run around looking for all the ingredients.

Here are some beautifully pre-packaged suggestions you can get on Etsy:

If you want to see our full selection of mulled wine gifts ideas, pop over here.

Non alcoholic mulled wine

If you’d prefer a non-alcoholic mulled wine punch, you can still substitute the red wine with a fruit juice, such as red or purple grape juice. Some suggest cranberry juice but we find this a little tart on its own, you might want to balance it with a little apple juice, or pomegranate juice is another good mulled wine mocktail option.

Add some cranberries to serve.

Looking for some Christmas gift suggestions?

If you know a mama who loves drinks as much as we do, pop on over here and see our complete collection of Christmas gift ideas. From the perfect glassware to what to buy a wine-lover we’ll help you fill their stockings with some Christmas cheer they’ll remember!

Mama Loves A Drink advocates quality over quantity. Always drink responsibly!

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