Super Simple Mulled Wine

Serves: n/a
Approx cost: €2.50
Approx calories (per glass): ~200
Approx preparation and cooking time: ~15 minutes

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0B0B61;”]As Christmas is now almost upon us I’m sure many of you are starting to reach “critical mass” in terms of stress regarding things that have to be taken care of over the next couple of days. Luckily for me, I’m not. We’ve done all our Christmas entertaining already – several pre-Christmas parties for friends – and believe me, I’ve had enough Christmas food to last me until Christmas 2015. I don’t know what we’ll end up eating on the 24th/25th right now (as an update to this, now we do! Steak on Christmas Eve, and a lovely turkey roll inspired by Karen here for Christmas day, yay!), but with the way I’m feeling right now, I’d be pretty darn pleased if it was a nice, light salad! :) For those of you who have yet to have the big event with family and friends on the 24th/25th, I feel your pain, so this post is for you.

It’s pretty hard not to love mulled wine – spicy, hot, sweet wine. Sitting around the Christmas tree, enjoying a glass of this with friends – you can’t really get more festive than this (add a bit of snow into the mix too though!) though from looking around on the internet people go to all manner of bizarre lengths to prepare this drink – you can even buy over-priced spice kits from your local supermarket – when the reality is, it couldn’t be cheaper or easier. The whole drink takes about 15 minutes to make – most of this time is heating, so preparation time is actually more like 2 minutes. A perfect thing to put on the stove just before your guests show up to fill the home with the lovely aroma of warming cinnamon, and maybe sneak a glass before they arrive to sit down for five minutes with yourself! You can use any old bottle of cheap plonk – no need to use a special wine, and indeed, that bottle of 68 Latour you have saved in your wine-cellar…? I strongly recommend not using it for this (and actually sending it to me instead). Instructions for turning this into a Swedish version (adding almonds and raisins) are included in the final step, for those interested :) Have a great day everyone!


Mulled Wine ingredients

  • 1 bottle of cheap Red Wine
  • ~6 tbsps Demerara Sugar (adjust depending on personal preferences)
  • 2 Clementines
  • 1/3 of a Lemon
  • 6-8 Cloves
  • 3 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick


  1. Wash and dry the lemon piece and clementines. Cut the clementines in half and place with the lemon piece, sugar, cloves and cinnamon into a pan. Press down on the cardamom pods with the blunt side of a knife, just to crack them open slightly, and then add them in too. Pour the wine over the sugar and place onto a low heat on the stove, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
    Into the pan
  2. Leave the pan on a gently heat until the wine is just starting to steam inside. Test to see if it’s warm and sweet enough for your tastes before serving into heat-proof glasses. You may want to pour through a strainer, just to ensure no errant cloves find their way into your wine. For a Swedish version of the drink, add chopped almonds and raisins into the bottom of the glass before pouring in the wine, and then enjoy the fruit and nuts at the end, all warm and plump with wine. Enjoy :)
    Mulled Wine


  1. says

    You know I'm all about the super simple Charles ;0 (15 minutes – yay!!) and who doesn't love mulled wine? The lemon is interesting here with the orange – I haven't tried that yet; I think I will have to give this one a go. My hubby loves red wine… Your Christmas menu line-up sounds very yummy – we do steak too on the 25th and cheese fondue on the 24th… yay for the holidays!! Have a great Christmas Charles… enjoy.

    • says

      Thanks Kelly – Cheese fondue… yum! 😀 Will you be posting about it? I'm always curious as to how how other people make their fondues :) Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

    • says

      Hi Karen, I definitely agree. Mulled wine is truly great – I just wish we had a bit of snow here to accompany it :( I can't wait to make my turkey roll tomorrow! :)

  2. says

    I am not a drinker as you already know lol.. but my uncle is definitely the win maker in this family. I have to print out this page and give this to him. I think he will love this Mulled Wine :)

  3. says

    I love simple Charles. Especially today. :) This looks so much easier than some of the other ways I've seen – and tastier too. Have a great trip and enjoy all of your remaining Christmas meals. My feasting starts tonight and I plan to be in a food coma for the next 4 or 5 days. :) Yay! Merry Christmas!

    • says

      lol, I read that first as: I love "simple-Charles" 😀 Made me chuckle… I get it now, after a re-read 😉 Did I tell you that apparently the average brit eats 8000 calories on Christmas day! Like… whoa! Anyway – enjoy your Christmas feasting and have a wonderful time with your family :) Happy Christmas!

  4. says

    Charles, I cannot keep up with you! Do you get any sleep this week? You seem to be cooking 24 hours a day!

    Your mulled wine sounds prefect. Just as I like: simple and to too spicy (some people use pepper or nutmeg, but it's too much for me). I have never added cardamom, but it sounds like a wonderful idea. The Swedish drink sounds great too!

    I love the last photo, especially the way you have put the cinnamon stick on the glass. Beautiful! Happy Holidays s once more!

    • says

      Haha, I wanted to do one post per day for the week leading up to Christmas! Just one more to go, as of writing this message :) I guess many people won't read it as they'll be celebrating Christmas, and rightly so, but all the same – I felt like doing this helps me feel more festive!

      I'm not such a fan of the Swedish version – sure you get nice raisins soaked in wine at the end, but if you tip your glass back too far all these chunks of fruit and nut shower you in the face… annoying 😀

      Anyway – have a wonderful Christmas – hope you can try the mulled wine :)

  5. says

    Christmas is not Christmas without some stress) thanks for the recipe! I usually make mulled vine on the New year eve, I use a lot of oranges (i squeeze them in the pot first and then throw the rest inside as well), some sugar (depending on the wine), raisins, cardamon, cloves, some nutmeg. Never try it with clementines, maybe will try this year)

    • says

      To be honest – I'd use oranges if I had them, but since I have clementines in the house at Christmas anyway it seems useless to "double up" buying another thing when the other does a fine job.

      I find the french really don't make it at all as sweet as I would like. I like wine a lot, but when it's hot and mixed with spices, orange… I just feel like it "has" to sweet, you know?

      • says

        Hehe I dont like sweet to be honest) but if I dont add sugar the taste of the alcohol would be too heavy, which I dont like as well. So my gluhwein is usually very orangy, but not too sweet at all… Adding some sweetclementines would be a good idea, cause oranges can be sour and I could use less sugar in the end.

  6. says

    Who doesn't love mulled wine? The addition of the orange to this old favourite is a lovely idea. But I would recommend a good quality wine (not quite the 68 Latour quality) because you don't want a headache out of this. Let me know if anyone sends you a bottle of the Latour and I'll be right over.

    • says

      Hi Eva – I guess I don’t drink enough to suffer the headache, or maybe I’m just weird. I heard someone else recently telling me not to use a certain wine in a cheese fondue because I would surely suffer horrific headaches but I never seem to have noticed any ill-effects!

  7. says

    HI Charles! I LOVE mulled wine, but about 9 years ago I developed an allergy to cinnamon. What’s your opinion regarding omitting it…do you think it is essential to the flavor? it usually is – but I’m thinking the cardamom might help. If so, I’d love to make this next winter!

    • says

      Hi Ann, it’s a real shame you have an allergy to cinnamon – it’s such a wonderful spice. As for taking it out – I don’t think it would be so bad. The final result would be a bit different in flavour but my favourite ingredient in the wine is the cloves, so if you have those, the orange and sugar it’s already something delicious I think!

      I heard that “cinnamon” is often replaced in the US by something called cassia, which is often sold as cinnamon because it’s much cheaper, though can have high levels of a potentially harmful chemical. I’m not sure where you’re located, but did you ever investigate whether your allergy is for specifically cinnamon or cassia? I’m not sure which constituent of the spice causes you the allergic reaction, but maybe you could find that one is less “dangerous” (or not at all) to you :)

      • says

        Hi Charles, Thank you for your very thoughtful reply! I’ve never heard of cassia…I’ll have to research it! I’ve heard that a small amount of cardamom and nutmeg work well together. When I went to my allergist – they tested for a large variety of foods, herbs and spices…but I doubt they did cassia. I’ll have to ask!

  8. says

    Last time I made mulled wine it became gooey and sticky after about fifteen minutes, and nobody wanted it after that. It had tasted pretty good before then. I’m curious if I just messed up or if that’s just what mulled wine does…

    • says

      Hi Kim. I’ve never heard of mulled wine going gooey and sticky, although that sounds like it has all the makings of an amazing sauce! 😀 The only things I can think of are maybe you added too much sugar, and perhaps maybe you heated it for too long / too much. Usually I make only enough to serve the required number of people – bring it up to just before simmering and then serve it all out immediately. If more is required I can easily add more sugar and wine to the pan, as I leave the spices and orange/lemon in the pan. That way it’s always fresh and only really takes a couple of minutes to bring up to temperature!

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