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White saucepan with ingredients for mulled wine: red wine, cinnamon sticks, sliced orange, star anise and whole cloves

Mulled Wine

  • Author: Michal Martinek
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 46 1x
  • Cuisine: Czech


My favorite Christmas drink is this mulled red wine, scented with sliced orange, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. Merry, Merry!



  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 medium orange, preferably organic (see note 1)
  • 1 750-ml bottle red wine (see note 2)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole star anise
  • Apple slices for garnish (optional)


  1. Add the sugar and water to a small pot, and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Wash the whole orange and cut it into thin slices.
  3. Combine the sugar water, orange, red wine, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a medium pot. Heat, stirring occasionally, and pressing on the orange slices to release their juices, over very low heat for 30 minutes. Do not let it come to a full boil, because the alcohol in the wine would evaporate.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve to discard spices and the orange, and ladle into glasses. Serve hot.


  1. Organic orange is better because you’re using the skin, and you don’t want pesticides with your wine.
  2. Don’t waste money on an expensive bottle of wine: The $ 3–6/bottle is perfectly fine for this.
  3. White wine instead of red is a great alternative. Use the same ingredients except for the cinnamon sticks, and add 3 1-inch slices of peeled, fresh ginger + 5 cardamom pods.

Keywords: mulled wine