Spiced Mulled Wine (or Cider)

mulled wine

This is my famous mulled wine recipe. It’€™s one of my family’€™s must-make beverages for fall and winter entertaining, and is beloved by so many that I knew I had to include it in my cookbook, Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food. This year, I want to share it with the Savvy readers as well, because I know you’€™ll adore it as much as we do!

I’€™m often asked what to serve with mulled wine, and seeing as the holidays are about five weeks away, I’€™ve put together a list to help you with your holiday hostessing this year. While I can’€™t think of anything that wouldn’€™t work well with mulled wine, the following suggestions are especially complimentary.

Appetizers or Finger Foods:

  • Mini meat/mince pies with Stilton
  • Assorted cheeses (Stilton is a must) and breads/crackers
  • Sausage rolls
  • Mini quiches
  • Christmas cookies
  • Bacon-wrapped dates
  • Roasted chestnuts

Main Course Options:

  • Roast beef or lamb with roasted potatoes and veg

One last thing: if you have leftover mulled wine DO NOT discard it! Use it to slow cook a pork shoulder for a delicious seasonal take on pulled pork.

So, are you a mulled wine fan? What do you like to serve with yours?

Spiced Mulled Wine (or Cider)

Serves a medium-sized crowd

You’€™ll Need:

  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 lemon peel slice (for mulled wine only)
  • 1 lime peel slice (for mulled wine only)
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 3-4 small (or 2 large broken) cinnamon sticks
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • ‘…› tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2-3 whole star anise
  • 2 cardamon pods
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (1 ½ cups if using 3 bottles of wine)
  • 2-3 750 mL bottles of red wine


  • ¼ cup orange-flavoured liqueur like Cointreau or even brandy (for mulled wine only)
  • Cinnamon sticks and orange slices, for garnish

Prep and Cook:

  1. Peel and juice the orange. In a large pot, combine the citrus peels, the juice of the orange, all of the spices and sugar. Set over medium heat and give it a few stirs, lightly toasting the ingredients to release some of the flavours.
  2. Add 1 cup of wine and stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved; add a little more wine, if needed. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, letting it bubble for five minutes or until it becomes thick and syrupy.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the rest of the wine. Stir, and heat to warm through. Add the liqueur, if using, and mix well. Turn off the heat and strain into glass tumblers. Serve with a cinnamon stick and orange slice.

Good to Know:

  • Feel free to replace the wine with apple cider for a non-alcoholic version of the same drink.
  • Both variations of this recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Gently rewarm just before serving.

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