Hot Mulled Wine Recipe with Mulling Spices

An easy mulled wine recipe with red wine, apple cider, orange juice, brandy, and mulling spices. The perfect holiday drink to serve for a party or small crowd. Make it in the slow cooker or stove top! This large batch is a great signature cocktail for your dinner party menu ideas

hot mulled wine

Easy mulled wine

I created a new mulled wine recipe with lots of flavors and an extra kick. Plus I used a mulling spice ball for easy prep. 

This recipe gets rave reviews even from people who don’t like wine (what?). I mean red wine with liqueur, plus juices and spices….how could it go wrong?

Why you’ll love it

  • You can make it in the crock pot or on the stove.
  • It’s a traditional holiday beverage, so it’s perfect for Christmas entertaining.
  • It goes well with savory food so you can make it for cocktail parties or a winter dinner party.
  • It makes a big batch so it’s great for parties or just because it’s the weekend!
slow cooker mulled wine with orange slice garnish

How to serve for parties

This spiced wine recipe turned out SO delicious! You’re going to want to make it for fall or winter, and holiday gatherings. But how will you serve it at a party?

Here are some stylish ways to serve hot fall cocktails

  • Use a grouping of tea kettles.
  • Use a vintage hot chocolate pot. These are taller and larger than a tea pot.
  • Serve it from a soup tureen with a ladle to pour into cups.
  • Keep it warm in a large chafing dish and use a ladle to scoop into cups.
  • To add a casual rustic feel, pour the hot mulled wine into vintage style thermoses and serve from them.
  • Use a large coffee urn to pour from.
  • Serve it straight from the stove or crock pot.

PARTY TIP: Feel free to serve this cold like Sangria, too!

spiced wine cocktails on silver tray

What are mulling spices?

Traditional mulling spices consist of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Sometimes star anise or peppercorns are included. You can use the spices to simmer on the stove along with citrus for a scented potpourri. Or add them to drinks like hot cider and red wine for a spiced drink.

You can find mulling spices at most grocery stores or make your own homemade spices. A large mesh ball, also known as a tea infuser can be used so the spices stay together and are easy to take out of the finished beverage.

If you don’t have a mulling ball, use a piece of cheesecloth tied with twine to hold the spices inside. Either way they are a great addition to any pantry. 

party drinks for a crowd

Best wine to use

You don’t want to use an expensive or fancy bottle for traditional mulled wine. The juices and spices will hide the nuances of flavor.

That also means you don’t want to use a light bodied wine like Pinot Noir or Gamay. Use bolder wines that are medium to full bodied like these.

  • Spanish red
  • Shiraz or Syrah
  • Malbec
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot

How to make mulled wine

Here are the ingredients to add to your shopping list.

  • Red wine – Use 1 large, or 2 regular size bottles of red wine from the list above.
  • Cherry brandy – Cherry is delicious but you can always use another flavor if you have it on hand.
  • Orange flavored liqueur – You can use Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec. 
  • Orange juice – Make sure you use juice with NO pulp.
  • Cranberry juice – This adds dimension and depth.
  • Apple cider – You can also substitute apple juice if you need to.
  • Fresh oranges – Use navel oranges or whatever your store has on hand. Slice it and remove the seeds, and save some extra for garnish.
  • Mulling spices – Place them in a spice ball or wrap them in cheese cloth to keep them together. Tie the cheesecloth with twine, like a sack, to keep the spices inside.

Put all the ingredients into a crock pot or a large sauce pan and cover. Heat on low for 1 to 2 hours. DO NOT BOIL.

Flavors will blend and mellow after 2-3 hours. Serve in mugs and garnish with orange slices.

HOSTESS TIP: Do not let the ingredients come to a boil or it will cook off the alcohol.

spice wine recipe

This mulled wine recipe is so forgiving, you can delete or add flavors as you like. Go ahead and give it a try. There’s plenty of cold weather left, and this will warm you up!

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easy mulled wine recipe

Hot Mulled Wine Recipe

Yield: about 15-17 servings

Red wine, apple cider, brandy, and mulling spices come together for a delicious holiday drink. Put everything into a slow cooker or on the stove top for a traditional hot cocktail.


  • 1 large (1.5 liter) bottle medium to full bodied red wine
  • 1 cup cherry brandy
  • 1/2 cup orange flavored liqueur
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons mulling spices - place them in a spice ball or wrap them in cheese cloth to keep them together


  1. Put all ingredients into a crock pot or large sauce pan. Cover and heat on low for 2 hours.
  2. Flavors will blend and mellow after 2-3 hours.
  3. Use a ladle to pour into mugs and enjoy.


You can serve this cold like sangria too!

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. If you’re having a party this Christmas, try making mulled wine in the slow-cooker. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, switch it on, and it will keep at the perfect temperature all night.

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