This slow cooker mulled wine is the ultimate holiday cocktail. Red wine is heated with warming spices like cloves, cinnamon, and star anise to create a comforting Christmas drink that is perfect for a crowd!
Whenever the holidays are around, we serve this slow cooker mulled wine for our guests next to some delicious appetizers like baked brie, cream cheese stuffed mushrooms, and bacon wrapped brussels sprouts!
What Is Mulled Wine?
Traditional mulled wine, or spiced wine, is made by heating red wine with mulling spices like cinnamon, star anise, and cloves.
It’s a hot wine, but make sure it doesn’t boil so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.
Mulled wine is usually served around Christmas time or the cold winter months, in fancy mugs with garnishes like fresh cranberries, orange slices, and star anise.
The Best Wine For Mulled Wine
Mulled wine is spiced, sweet, and so delicious. The honey helps avoid any bitterness from the spices, and sweeten the Christmas classic beverage.
For mulled wine, you want to go with a red wine on the dry side. I like to select a malbec, pinot noir, merlot, or cabernet sauvignon.
For mulled wine, flavor will be enhanced, so you don’t need to get an expensive bottle. Something in the $10-$15 range is more than enough for a delicious warm cup of mulled wine!
How To Make Crock Pot Mulled Wine
To make mulled wine:
- Set the slow cooker to low.
- Combine wine, brandy, honey or maple syrup, and flavorings.
- Heat for an hour or until fully hot and steeped.
- Serve with a ladle in mugs. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, cinnamon sticks, cranberries, and star anise.
If you use frozen cranberries, you may need closer to 2 hours. My 5 quart CrockPot can make mulled wine in an hour, but my 3 quart takes closer to 2 hours.
Stove top Instructions
To change this to a stovetop recipe:
- Combine all ingredients in a medium stockpot, over low heat.
- Continue heating, ensuring the wine doesn’t reach a simmer or boil.
- Garnish and serve as usual.
Tips For Making Mulled Wine
- For mulled white wine, substitute the red for a dry white wine like pinot grigio.
- Low and slow is the name of the game, don’t turn the slow cooker to high heat. You will risk burning off the alcohol in the mulled wine!
- Don’t use ground spices, make sure you use whole ingredients. If you use powdered, the wine will get a grainy texture that isn’t pleasant.
- Remember to garnish the glasses with all the delicious spices when you serve up. I like to add fresh spices that haven’t steeped in the slow cooker yet so they look more presentable.
- If you prefer, you can place the spices in cheesecloth wrapped with cooking twine and remove them before serving.
- Brandy will make it a tad stronger, but adds some delicious flavor. Add it sparingly!
- If you find the mulled wine quite strong, add some extra honey to mellow the spices out. It will strengthen in flavor the longer it sits.
- Star anise is found in the spice aisle. If you have trouble finding it there, check in the Asian food aisle, as well as bulk.
- If you have leftover mulled wine, store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. You can reheat it any way you’d like.
More Delicious Cocktails
- Peruvian Pisco Sour Recipe
- Love Potion Drink
- Shamrock Shake
- Green Prosecco Cocktail
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
- 2 bottles red wine
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- orange peels of 1 orange
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
- 8 star anise
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- Turn slow cooker to low heat.
- Add all ingredients, and stir to combine.
- Heat for 1 hour or until hot. If cranberries are frozen, it may take longer.
- Once wine is mulled, serve garnished with spices and fruit.
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