Slow Cooker Mulled Wine, or spiced wine, is a traditional holiday alcoholic beverage. Served warm, mulled wine is filled with seasonal spices like cinnamon, star anise, and cloves.
Looking for a cozy holiday beverage? Mulled wine makes the perfect holiday treat because it’s filled with all your favorite holiday flavors.
Red wine is infused with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, as well as citrus flavor from fresh orange slices. Triple sec or brandy is added for an extra kick of flavor, perfect for holiday parties.
My slow cooker mulled wine is made in a snap. It’s as easy as pouring your ingredients into a slow cooker and setting the temperature to low.
Best Wine for Mulled Wine
Want to know the best part about making mulled wine? You don’t need a fancy or expensive bottle to make a great tasting batch of mulled wine.
I, not being an expert in wines, picked out a fairly cheap bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. I’d suggest choosing a dry red wine as the base for your mulled wine – and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Normally, for a recipe that includes wine, like a sangria, I would suggest choosing a nice, mid-grade wine that tastes good to you and you’d enjoy on its own.
However, the spices, citrus, and maple syrup will heavily flavor your wine. So, I wouldn’t worry so much about your choice of wine when making a mulled wine.
How to Make Mulled Wine
First, set up your slow cooker. The best part about using a slow cooker is that if you’re making this during the holidays, maybe for a party or family gathering, your mulled wine won’t take up a precious spot on your stove.
Simply pour your wine, triple sec (or brandy), apple juice, maple syrup, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks into your slow cooker, and stir to combine.
Cover, set to low, and allow to warm for at least 1 hour. Once your wine is heated through, turn your slow cooker off (or set to warm if you have this setting), ladle into mugs, and enjoy.
Resist the urge to use the high setting – this may burn some of the alcohol out of your mulled wine. Remember – mulled wine should never come to a boil.
Optionally, garnish your mugs with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
Mulled Wine Variations
You can make all sorts of variations to mulled wine. I like to add apple juice to mine for a hint of apple flavor. You could also try apple cider or orange juice.
Instead of triple sec, you can also use brandy, firebally whisky, or any other complementary liquor.
Don’t want to mess with fishing out spices from your mulled wine? Try wrapping your spices in cheesecloth. This way, you can fish out a single bundle once your wine is ready.
Leftover Mulled Wine
If you have leftover wine (I mean… that happens sometimes, right?), pick out the spices and fruit slices and discard.
Then, store leftover wine in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Your mulled wine can be gently reheated and served again at a later date.
Stove Top Mulled Wine
Yes, your mulled wine can be made on the stove top too! Simply heat over low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Ladle into mugs and enjoy.
Make sure not to bring your mulled wine to a boil – this will boil out the alcohol! Warming it slowly over medium heat will ensure your spiced wine gets hot, but retains the alcohol.
Holiday Cocktail Recipes
Looking for some more holiday cocktail recipes? Try a few of my favorite recipes right here:
Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
- 750 ml bottle of red wine like cabernet sauvignon
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup triple sec or brandy
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 orange sliced into rounds
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and stir to combine. Set to low and warm for 1 hour.
- Ladle into mugs and serve warm. Optionally, garnish mugs with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
- To make on the stove top - add all ingredients to a saucepan and heat over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until hot. Make sure not to boil, you do not want to boil off the alcohol.
- Leftover mulled wine - strain the spices and orange slices, then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Apple juice can be substituted with apple cider or orange juice.
- Maple syrup can be substituted with granulated sugar, brown sugar, or honey.