Spicy Mulled Wine

I can’t stop digging up treasures on Tasty Kitchen, and when I saw this recipe for Mulled Wine, it was all I could do to stop myself from running at a sprint to the nearest liquor store to make it all happen asap. This little brew tastes like the holidays to me. It warms me to my toes, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

Disclaimer: it’s spicy. Not fire-in-your-mouth spicy, but spicy enough that my friend Carrie wasn’t a huge fan. Sorry, Carrie. Our souls may be knit together, but our taste buds are definitely on different tracks at times. If this is too spicy for you, I recommend adding some orange juice to the brew to sweeten the flavors.

Second disclaimer: you will only be bringing the wine to a simmer, and then serving it directly. So don’t operate under the illusion that any alcohol content evaporates! That illusion could quickly lead down a path to accidental drunkenness. And no one wants that! Take it from someone who’s been there. And it was totally accidental. I’ll tell you the story sometime. Or maybe I won’t.

Hey! Don’t be judgin’–it happened to Anne of Green Gables too! Or rather, she accidentally inebriated her friend Diana thinking a bottle of wine was a bottle of Marilla’s famous raspberry cordial, but don’t worry, because she gained back the approval of Diana’s mother months later when she saved Diana’s youngest sister’s life from a bout of croup using something called ipicac. Or something. Really! It all happened!

What? You have no idea what I’m blabbing on about? You mean you haven’t read the Anne of Green Gables books? Or seen the movie? My gosh. You need to get your priorities straight.

Anyway, I need to get my priorities straight and get this mulled wine made, eh? So here we go.


2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp whole cloves

1 tsp whole peppercorns

peel from 1 orange, removed with a vegetable peeler

1 c water

1/2 c sugar

2 bottles (750 ml) red wine such as cabernet or merlot

1/2 c port

First, let’s peel the orange. Grab a vegetable peeler and do your best to get all the orange part of the peel with as little white as possible.

The white suff if Bitter Central.

Now look at the stripped-down orange and contemplate its nudity for a few minutes.

Preferrably in silence.

Okay! Now grab those spices:

It helps if you have an adorable white ramekin to put them in. Really!

Let’s pour that cup of water into a large pot. I used my pressure cooker.

Now put the orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and peppercorns into the pot, and bring it to a boil.

As soon as it boils, lower the heat and simmer it for about 15 minutes. The spices will start releasing their aromas and flavors, and the cinnamon sticks should start to unfurl.

Round up the rest of the ingredients:

Something that I love about this recipe is that you can use some dang cheap wine, which may not taste great alone, but via this process is transformed into a lovely subtance.

These bottles were about $5 apiece, and distinctly . . . not delicious. According to my palate. They needed sugar and spices to make them nices.

Heh heh.

Oh, and make sure you have some chapstick on hand at all times.

I always do.

Now add the two bottles of wine . . .

Add the sugar . . .

Add the port with its lovely raisiny flavor . . .

. . . and bring it back to a simmer.

Okay, that was closer to a boil than a simmer. But if you don’t tell, I won’t either! Deal? Deal.

Let’s serve it up!

Simple, eh?

Note: I had much better luck serving this with a large measuring cup instead of a ladle. With the ladle, I got wine drips and splatters pretty much everywhere.

We stored the leftovers in an empty bottle we had saved for just such an occasion, pouring it into a funnel through a strainer to get out the spices.

Once the bottle was full, we strained the rest directly into my mug.


It’s delicious chilled, or room temperature, or hot. But I love it hot. Maybe because there are so few degrees outside these days.


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21 thoughts on “Spicy Mulled Wine

    1. Jenna

      I find it so distressing every time, even though I know Anne’s name and honor will be cleared soon. I need to buy those movies–I haven’t seen them in years.

      1. Circe

        I find it distressing when Anne yells at Mrs. Rachel Lind. I want to scream at her to stop, but it never does any good, she always yells at her and calls her fat.

      2. Jenna

        So true . . . that is a stressful moment. But the apology she concocts is hilarious. My heart is so warmed by the fact that we’re fellow Anne of Green Gables lovers. =)

  1. skippymom

    You are amazing! I love that you can make a simple recipe SO entertaining and somehow integrate “Anne of Green Gables” into the post AND start a discussion in the comments.

    We all just need to be you. hee

    Thanks for the recipe. [Neat cup – where did you get it. I would love to buy one for my French obsessed 13 y.o.]

    1. Jenna

      Aw, thanks skippymom! The cup, I’m sorry to say, was a purchase from waaaay back in the day. I got it during my highschool trip to Southern France, around 12-13 years ago. It developed a crack but is still going pretty strong. =)

  2. Veronica

    In response to your mug’s question, I love you too! 🙂 I love mulled wine–it’s very holiday-ish to me. And I LOVE Anne of Green Gables!!! Love, love, love. Wow, there’s a lot of love in this comment. <3

  3. Sarah

    1) i’m familiar with anne… we go way back, so i totally know what you’re talking about.
    2) you can keep your hot mulled wine. i’m not a fan… but you were pretty convincing and now i kinda kinda wanna try it… we’ll see though… 🙂

  4. athomeandaway

    you know what might be real good? to use apple juice instead of water. that would probably round out, compliment, and maybe even slightly soften the spices. I like to use it in my spiced wine.
    also. brown sugar. mmmmm. deepens the flavortaste.
    but. plz to save a cup for me, for when heidi, bun and i visit?? eh?? because the degrees are so small?

  5. Nicole

    Hmmm, you need to tell the story… 😉 And I LOVE the Anne of Green Gables books / movies. Now I feel that I need to watch the movie over again. The hubby is going to love it. 😉

  6. giselle

    Hrm. I don’t know if this sounds good or not. I would try it at someone’s house, but I’m typically happy just drinking coke. Now speaking of Anne – I LOVED those books. I read the whole 8 (or was it 9?) books series when I was in 6th or 7th grade, and I’ve never forgotten it. So awesome.

  7. Amy @ Serve At Once

    Jenna, only you could successfully integrate Anne of Green Gables into a Mulled Wine post. Holy crap. My laughter kinda almost woke up my roommate.

    I’m a firm believer in keeping the spicy/cinnamony goodness around long after the “holidays” are over. Life’s only a vapor, you know? 😉


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