Mulled wine has a very long history dating back to the 2nd century! It has incarnated in various ways through all of Europe, the Americas and mention of it in Turkey. After all this time the recipes have changed, evolved and become quite flexible with the one constant being hot wine sweetened with spices, fruits or simply sugar.
Here in the United States, nothing signals the holiday season, or Fall and Winter, like the sweet but tart aroma of mulled wine wafting through the air and warming a home. It’s a sweet way to welcome guests that are coming over to spend time with you.
This is my recipe. After years of trying this in countless variations, that also included buying spice packs at the store, this is the one I love. Both the flavor and the use of the slow cooker makes this the best of all worlds because long after the wine has been consumed, the scent is still warming the entire home. (And you know I am having a love affair with my slow cooker!)
I just made this for the first time this year over the weekend and it was a lovely process over which to bless a gathering of friends for the weekend.
Mulled Wine Recipe
- 1 bottle (750 ml) Merlot (low end pricing is fine)
- 1 bottle (750 mi) Apple Cider
- 2 Mandarin Oranges, zested and juiced (or 1 large orange though Mandarin are sweeter)
- 7 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Fuji or Gala apple, cut into 1/8 wedges
- 1/2 C fresh cranberries
- 1 vanilla bean sliced open down the middle of one side
- 1 cracked nutmeg (I use the but of my butchers knife to crack it open)
- Set the slow cooker to low heat and pour in both the wine and cider bottles.
- Add the other ingredients, stir together and let stand on low heat for 1 hour.
- Change the temperature to the ‘Keep Warm’ setting. You can leave it on this setting all day. The longer the fluid sits the sweeter it will get.
- Serve hot from the cooker and add a cinnamon stick and a slice of mandarin orange for garnish to each glass. I don’t bother to strain out the ingredients from the wine when I label it into classes. On occasion bit of cranberry or mandarin rind adds to the beauty of the drink when you hand it to someone.
- This is enough for 8 glasses.