Are you a lover of this classic Christmas tipple? Discover our favourite mulled wine recipes to make at home.
Much to our delight, mulled wine is a festive season staple. Arguably the drink of Christmas, it’s cosy, warming and tasty — what’s not to love? Though reaching for a bottle of M&S’ ready-made offering is tempting (we’ve been guilty of this ourselves one too many times!), making your own mulled wine is super easy and a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. Ahead, these five mulled wine recipes will see you through the holidays (and beyond). Cheers!
Traditional Mulled Wine
If you’re a mulled wine purist at heart, this recipe’s for you. Using classic spices and fragrant fruits, the result will warm any Scrooge’s heart.
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
• 2 bottles Italian red wine
• 2 clementines
• 1 lemon
• 1 lime
• 200g caster sugar
• 6 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
• 1 vanilla pod
• 2 whole star anise
Sassy Tip: There’s no need to opt for an expensive red wine here — the focus of the flavour will be the spices!
1. Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime.
2. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
3. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick, along with about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
4. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to a boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a thick syrup. This creates a good flavour base and really lets the sugar and spices infuse the wine. You need to make the syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you use both bottles of wine too early, it will burn off the alcohol.
5. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add the star anise, along with the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine for around 5 minutes, and then ladle your mulled wine into heatproof glasses to serve.
White Mulled Cider
Traditionalists look away now. Not only does this mulled wine recipe call for white wine instead of the usual red, but it also incorporates a light cider into the mix. A light and fresh take on the seasonal classic (perfect for the breezy cool of Hong Kong), we love the addition of elderflower here.
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.
Ingredients (makes about 10 glasses)
• 2 bottles white wine (medium-dry is good)
• 500ml bottle light cider
• 150ml elderflower cordial
• Zest of 2 lemons (pared into strips using a vegetable peeler)
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 vanilla pod, split
• 4 to 5 tablespoons caster sugar
1. Put all the ingredients into a pan and heat until steaming, but not boiling.
2. Ladle your mulled wine into mugs or glasses to serve, keeping the rest warm on low heat.
If you’re a fan of frosé in the summer then you’re going to love this winter twist on the pink wine. The grapefruit also adds a fresh spin to this mulled wine recipe, perfect for an al fresco holiday gathering with friends.
Recipe adapted from CBC.
Ingredients (makes about 20 glasses)
• 2 bottles rosé
• 4 cups white cranberry juice
• 2 sticks cinnamon
• 1 vanila bean, halved
• 2 pink grapefruits, sliced
• 1 cup fresh cranberries (optional)
1. Put all the ingredients into a pan and gently simmer for at least 15 minutes.
2. Serve warm in a glass and enjoy!
Mulled Wine Spritzer
This fizzy mulled wine is perfect for warmer winter days (it is Hong Kong after all!) and a great alternative for a daytime party or evening soiree. You might even get away with serving this one in the summertime!
Recipe adapted from Veggie Desserts.
Ingredients (makes about 6 glasses)
• 1 bottle red wine
• 150ml water
• 4 tbsp brown sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 4 cloves
• 1 orange, squeezed
• Frozen Raspberries
1. Add wine, water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and orange to a large saucepan and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
2. Strain mixture over a bowl and allow to cool.
3. Add ice and frozen raspberries to a tall glass.
4. Fill halfway with cooled mulled wine and top up with fizzy lemonade.
Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine
Determined to make it through the festive season tee-total? That’s no reason to miss out on mulled wine! This recipe calls for grape juice in lieu of vino, so you can have as many glasses as you want without a horrific hangover the next morning.
Recipe adapted from Little Sugar Snaps.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
• 1 litre grape juice
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 whole star anise
• 6 whole cloves
• 15g fresh ginger (1cm thick slices)
• 1 orange (sliced into rounds)
• 2 slices of lemon
• 1 handful of fresh cranberries
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
1. Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan and heat until boiling.
2. Turn off the heat and let infuse for 30 minutes.
3. Strain to remove the fruits and spices.
4. Gently reheat to serve, adding more fresh oranges and cranberries if desired.
Sassy Tip: For a deeper flavour of mulled “wine”, try swapping out the grape juice for a full bottle of non-alcoholic red wine. Here in Hong Kong, you can check out The Bottle Shop or Wine Rack for some options.
Editor’s Note: “5 Mulled Wine Recipes To Try This Christmas” was most recently updated in November 2023.