spice up your weekend with mulled wine

The weekend is upon us – and so is SNOW in many parts of the country! What could be a better way to enjoy it than snuggling up with a big fleece blanket in front of the Christmas tree?

(Hint: it involves the biggest mug you own, and some warm alcohol.)

There are too many holiday cocktails to count, but if you’re looking for something to satisfy your cravings for both a warm drink AND something spiked – I’ve got just the recipe for you.

This traditional German drink, known in Deutsch as “Glühwein” translating literally to “glow wine”, is better known stateside as ‘mulled wine.’ Growing up in a German-American household (and near a winery that makes some really great mulling spices) it was a culture shock to me to learn that not everyone makes mulled wine for the holidays. So today I’m sharing a quick and easy (and super tasty!) recipe guaranteed to warm up both your tummy and taste buds this holiday season.

Disclaimer: Normally I hate when bloggers bog down recipe posts with personal stories – but this one was way too good not to share. Feel free to skip it, but if you need a good laugh, keep reading:

So, when I was still pretty young (we’re talking maybe 7-8 here, if my memory serves me correctly) and my parents hosted a large Christmas get-together – complete with mulled wine. Throughout the course of the night, our guests sat their glasses of wine on the floor; but they tended to be a little more empty when they picked them back up. Fast forward a few hours, and our golden retriever could barely stand…

Yes, our golden retriever  was running around the room drinking everyone’s wine. If you’ve never seen a drunk/hungover dog before, just let me tell you it’s equal parts horrifying and hilarious.

But, all of that to say – mulled wine has the 4-legged, tail-wagging stamp of approval. 


Mulled Wine

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 bottle 750mL Red Wine (It's up to your preference, I generally use a blend or Merlot)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh, whole cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 tbsp whole cloves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brandy


  1. Pour entire bottle of red wine (of your choice) into crock pot 

  2. Stick cloves into whole medium orange

  3. Add orange juice, cranberries, orange with cloves stuck in, and cinnamon sticks to crock pot with wine

  4. Cook on low for 2-3 hours, taking care to ensure it doesn't boil

  5. Use fine sieve (or slotted spoon) to remove orange and cinnamon sticks carefully 

  6. Using a spoon, press juices out of cranberries. You can do this either directly back into the crock pot, or in a separate bowl and add back in

  7. Stir in brandy

  8. Add in additional sugar to taste (optional)

Recipe Notes

Serve in mugs (it's hot hot hot!) with desired garnish of cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and fresh cranberries. 
Make sure to keep your crock pot on warm to keep the wine warm, stirring occasionally.

It’s safe to say if you need me this weekend, I’ll be wrapping presents, watching Love, Actually, with a mug of Glühwein in hand. Prost!