Need a drink to warm you up from the inside out? In wintertime, hot beverages make the marshmallow world go ‘round. Your favorite tea, velvety hot chocolate, or a frothy latte can all feel like a cozy hug in a mug!
And when there’s a chill in the air and jack frost is nipping at your nose, few things feel more festive (or come together with less fuss) than mulling wine in the crockpot.
Glasses of Good Cheer
Mulled wine is the perfect drink to make your evenings merry—warm, aromatic, and delicately spiced, with a hint of citrus and plenty of flavor!
Nothing could be easier than popping half a bag of Plum Deluxe mulling spices and your favorite bottle of wine into a crockpot, taking fifteen minutes to relax, and coming back to an amazing smelling kitchen and an ambrosial cocktail.
Because it’s so delicious and easy to make, mulled wine is ideal for a holiday dinner party, a snuggly date night in, or just enjoying on random weeknight before settling down for a long winter’s nap.
This versatile and ready-made mulling mix covers all the classic bases: zesty orange peel, warming cinnamon, and grounding allspice and clove. (Plus a creamy dash of vanilla if you opt for the vanilla mulling spice mix!) It has everything you need for a perfectly balanced mulled wine.
If you love to customize, it makes a lovely base upon which to build extra layers of spicy flavors and aromatic nuance. With very little effort on your part, you can create a mulled wine recipe perfectly tailored to you, filled with spice and wine and everything fine! (That’s how the saying goes, right?)
It's the Most Wonderful Drink of the Year
To customize your mulled wine, let’s talk mix-ins.
Classically, mulled wine is flavored with oranges (like in this blood orange holiday sangria), a variety of whole spices (typical of those found in chai), and sometimes additional liquor.
Brandy is traditional, but Cointreau or Grand Marnier would be delicious to play up the citrus flavors. If you favor vodka or spiced rum, you can’t go wrong putting a healthy slug of it into the crockpot with your wine.
Personally, I don’t like to mix wine and spirits, or I may be visited by the spirit of holiday hangovers. But to each their own! You know your own tastes and tolerance.
For a festive holiday drink that doesn’t shy away from mixing liquors, try this Swedish glogg! (And for anyone who might need it in the aftermath of holiday festivities, check out this post on the best teas for hangovers. Just in case!)
If you love chai, you may enjoy adding whole spices when mulling wine in the crockpot to enhance or complement the spices in your mulling mix.
Whole cinnamon sticks or buds of clove will emphasize the flavors in the mulling spices. Cardamom pods, ginger slices, star anise, and even peppercorns can all add wonderful depth and dimension to elevate your brew to the ultimate cup of cheer! (Or keep it simple and mix in a teaspoon or two of your favorite loose leaf chai! It’s a lovely way to infuse your wine. But if you like working with whole spices, any classic chai ingredients will pair nicely with your mulled wine.)
Adding fresh oranges can give your mulled wine more brightness and vigor to contrast the warming spices. They also impart natural sugars, which is a bonus for any fans of sweet wines! Depending on your preferences, the extra citrus may be well worth the extra step of slicing the fruit, or you may have all the zing you need from the orange peel in the Plum Deluxe mulling spices.
The addition of fresh fruit (consider apples, cranberries, pomegranate, or frozen berries) gives the mulled wine more of a sangria feeling. If that sounds like just the thing to make your winter merry and bright, check out this cranberry and tea sangria or this sparking apple ginger sangria!
Here We Come A-Wassailing: How to Prepare Your Mulled Wine
The process of mulling wine in a crockpot really couldn’t be any simpler! When brewing your beverage, though, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Choosing Your Wine
When selecting a bottle of wine to mull, it’s all about your personal taste. Red or white? Sweet or dry? There’s no wrong answer, as long as you choose a bottle you know you’ll enjoy.
Because you’ll be modifying the flavor, it may not be the best use of your most expensive or highest quality bottles. But as long as it doesn’t break the bank, crack open any bottle that tickles your fancy. Or choose your favorite from this post on the best wines for mulling spices!
Some people enjoy a Grenache or Pinot Noir for a more fruit-forward flavor profile.
Some people like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah for their spicier palates.
You may find a merlot with a nice vanilla finish to round out the mulling spices.
Or you might change it up altogether and choose a wintery white wine or even an apple wine.
It’s completely up to you!
Heating Your Wine
Once you have your wine, you can choose to mull it on the stovetop or in a crockpot. Either option will do the job nicely! Simply simmer over the stovetop or cook in a crockpot on low.
If you’re mulling your wine in a crockpot, just be aware of the intensity of your settings. If you know your crockpot tends to cook hot, you may want to keep an eye on it as it cooks, stirring every so often just to be safe. (The same goes for your stovetop.)
Once of the best parts of mulled wine is how quickly it can be made!
Unlike slow cooked crockpot meals, (like these tasty shredded pork sliders or this comforting boeuf bourgignon) it doesn’t have to take hours. Your mulled wine can come together in as little as fifteen minutes!
If you are planning to make your mulled wine far in advance, letting it simmer in the crockpot for multiple hours, you may consider doubling your batch. Because it is a liquid, your wine will reduce and evaporate over time.
You don’t want it vanishing (and burning your spices) before you have a chance to enjoy it! You’re probably safe for about an hour, but may not want to go more than four hours without at least doubling your recipe.
Once your wine is mulled to perfection, you can share it with friends—it’s a fun and festive choice for a wine swap party—or cuddle up and keep it all to yourself (and maybe a lucky loved one). It makes a lovely pairing with this cauliflower-crust pizza (or really any pizza) and a sappy hallmark movie or wine-themed movie night!
However you enjoy your mulled wine, snap a picture and tag us on social media @plumdeluxe—we love to be part of your festivities! Cheers, friend!
Mulled Wine Recipe
- 1 bottle wine of choice
- 1/2 oz (1/2 package) Plum Deluxe mulling spices https://www.plumdeluxe.com/products/mulling-spices
- Optional: Additional whole spices (e.g. 2-3 cinnamon sticks, 1-2 inches fresh ginger, 3-4 star anise, 4-6 cardamom pods, 4-6 whole cloves, 5-10 peppercorns, 2-3 tsp loose-leaf chai, etc.)
- Optional: 1 sliced orange, or additional fruit, (e.g. 1 orange, sliced; 1 apple, sliced, ½ cup cranberries, pomegranate seeds, etc.)
- Optional: ½ cup additional liquor (brandy, Cointreau, etc.)
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot or saucepan.
Set crockpot to low or heat saucepan to med-low heat, then reduce to simmer.
Allow wine to warm and flavors to mingle at least 15 minutes, up to one hour.
Strain wine and serve in individual mugs or glasses.
Top with garnish, if desired. (Some fun options include a cinnamon stick, a star anise, a smattering of cranberries, an orange wedge or twist, a sprig of rosemary, or a honey stick.)