Mulled Wine – Perfect Drink for a Holiday Season

We have many beautiful holidays ahead of us, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. For these occasions, nothing is too beautiful. Once a year, one can indulge in an accumulation of crystal, silver, china, an abundance of light and reflections, without fear of criticism. But as always, good taste will keep the display within bounds. A successful holiday party can be an enchanted memory for a whole year.

In today’s homes, a corner of a room, or piece of furniture, is often reserved for purpose of a “house bar” and for preparation of cocktails. When getting ready for your guests remember that champagne and whiskey are also popular at cocktail time. A bottle of good dry white wine needs no apology among close friends.

Aperitifs may also be served to those who prefer them. Cocktails are easily prepared in beaker or shaker. Be sure to have fruit juice on hand, and remember that canapés are always appreciated with cocktails. These should be small and require no plates or cutlery.

Mulled wine is a very popular and traditional holiday drink. It takes the typical wine you enjoy year-round and takes it to a whole new level by introducing spices and seasonings you associate with this time of the year. This following recipe is one of my personal favorites to make and enjoy during the holiday season.

Mulled Wine, called “Glühwein” in German, is a traditional and tasty Christmas drink in Germany and the perfect treat for cold winter days. Enjoy!

For more online topics about wines, please visit Sokolin Wines.

Mulled Wine

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  • 1 bottle of dry red wine (preferably with fruity flavors)
  • 2-3 sticks cinnamon
  • 3-5 whole cloves ( I like less)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger root, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, coarsely grated
  • 5 pods cardamom, cracked
  • zest of half an orange or lemon
  • 1 anise star (optional)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (maple syrup or honey is a great substitution)
  • 1/4 cup brandy 
  • lemon wedge for garnish



Wrap the spices and citrus zest in a large piece of cheesecloth, approximately 12 inches square, tying a knot to seal the bundle. Place the spice sack a pot. Pour the wine into the pot and add the brandy. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is warm, stir in the sugar, syrup or honey. Don’t let the mulled wine boil, or you risk cooking out the flavors. Leave over low heat for about 25 minutes while the flavors meld. 


Continue stirring occasionally. When the liquid is steaming lightly, it is ready to serve. Ladle into warm mugs. Have lemon wedges and extra sugar on hand so guests can squeeze in extra acidity if they want to cut the sweetness or add more sugar to indulge a sweet tooth. Note: Adjust ingredients and proportions to personal taste, but don’t let the sweetness overwhelm the wine’s acidity or the drink will be cloying.


You need to use non-reactive pot (don’t use aluminum—the wine’s acids can react with it and add an unpleasant metallic taste)

Suggestions for wine: Tempranillo from Spain is one good option, and Chilean Merlot works well too because it’s sturdy and fruity but not so distinctive that it can’t make a good canvas for the spices.

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  • Reply
    Northern Hi-Lights
    October 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Gorgeous photos – definatly puts me on the mood for some seasonal Glühwein – have to admit that I cheat and buy it ready made in the bottle! I have just baked some of your maple 'graham Cookies' today – they are fabulous and feel almost healthy – thank you ! Elaine x

  • Reply
    October 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you so much, I am so happy that you like maple graham cookies, and yes, they are, almost healthy-))

  • Reply
    October 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Gorgeous clicks. I can Xmas in the air. I enjoy wine but never attempted to create a drink with dry red wine. I have bookmarked your recipe. Can I serve this with turkey for Thanksgiving?

  • Reply
    October 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Dear Vijitha, you can serve it for Thanksgiving or just on a rainy day near fireplace-)) Thank you for stoping by!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2012 at 3:48 am

    It's really one of my favorite holiday drinks.. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    October 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I'm not much of a drinker but my husband is. I heard about Mulled Wine but I didn't really know what kind of wine. How interesting to find out all the spices in the wine!

  • Reply
    Spicie Foodie
    November 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    To me the holiday and cold weather is not the same without Mulled Wine. It is sold everywhere here during the holiday season. Though I do love making it at home too. Thanks for sharing:)

  • Reply
    Sunshine And Smile
    November 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    For a winer, it's a perfect treat for the season!

  • Reply
    thyme Sarah
    December 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I was served this at some friends' Xmas party years ago when we lived in NY. It was so delicious and couldn't stop smelling the wonderful aroma. I've put it on my list to have simmering away when family arrive on the 24th.

  • Reply
    Te de Ternura
    November 29, 2013 at 4:51 am

    TENGO QUE PROBAR ESTE VINO…. Sin dudarlo!!!

  • Leave a Reply

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