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Mulled wine, also known as glühwein, vino caliente, glögg, vin brulé, bisschopswijn, vin chaud, candola, vinho quente…or literally a hundred other names depending on where in the world life may find you. Just about everyone in the world loves hot wine.

So grab a bottle of inexpensive wine (no need to spring for anything fancy) and let’s get to mulling!

Why not knock up a few batches in the last week of Christmas and really surprise your customers? They will absolutely love it. And to kick it up a gear, serve it with some homemade mince pie pinwheels.

Cheats & Hints

  • Wine: No need to splurge on a pricey bottle — any basic bottle of dry red or white wine will do. (Or, if you’re making a big batch, this is a great recipe to break out the boxed wine too!)
  • Fresh clementines: The ideal Christmas fruit in that they make the mulled wine festive, fresh and sweet.
  • Cinnamon: I love making mulled wine with cinnamon sticks, but you could whisk in some ground cinnamon if that’s what you have to hand.
  • Mulling spices: These vary in mulled wine from country to country, but whole cloves and star anise are my favourites, plus perhaps a few cardamom pods.
  • Extra liqueur (optional): Similar to sangria, it’s also traditional to spike your mulled wine with an extra bit of liqueur. I like to add a bit of brandy, bourbon or cognac, but any favourite liqueur will do here (feel free to skip the extra liqueur if you prefer).

What you will need

IngredientsWeights / Volumes
Chianti or any Red Wine2 Bottles
Sliced Clementines2
Sliced Lemon1
Sliced Lime1
Caster Sugar200g
Whole Cloves6
Bay Leaves3
Whole Nutmeg1
Vanilla Pod1
Star Anise5


  • Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
  • Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
  • Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and 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.
  • Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
  • When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.

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