DIY Mulled Wine

Updated on 27. Dec. 2018
Mulled Eine made easy!
Mulled Eine made easy!

Mulled wine is the most popular hot drink at German and Austrian Christmas markets. It is generally a winter-holiday drink, which a lot of people know as an “after-ski” drink. Around 40 million liters are drank every year during the season. Unfortunately, often cheaper wine is used, leading to the infamous hangover the next morning. EAT SMARTER has come up with a recipe so that you can try this European winter tradition at home without the dreaded headache the following day.

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Some of the oldest cookbooks in the ancient world include recipes for mulled wine. A long time ago people would use pepper, bay leaf, saffron and honey to flavor the hot wine.

The essential oils of the wintry spices trigger happy, cozy feelings in the dark winter months. That’s because mulled wine warms you from the inside. However, this is not actually true. As with all alcohol, mulled wine dilates the vessels, which is why you feel warm at first. This heat is actually pulled off the internal organs, which leads them to cool down. This is why it is actually best to drink mulled wine in your living room instead of out in the cold.

DIY Mulled Wine: Ingredients And Preparation

Whether you use red or white wine, as a base for homemade mulled wine is a matter of taste. White wine is generally preferred in the south of Germany and in Austria, while red is preferred in the north. White wine is lighter and slightly more sour and is generally more popular with women. Sylvaner or Riesling is best suited for white wine and Pinot Noir or Regent for red wine.

When choosing spices there is no reason to limit your creativity. All types of wintry spices can be used depending on your tastes. The wine is classically spiced with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon zest and star anise. But also orange peel, ginger, vanilla, cardamom, anise, cocoa shells and pepper are very popular in mulled wine. You should heat the mulled wine, but never above 78 degrees Celsius / 172.4 degrees fahrenheit. Otherwise, the alcohol evaporates and the spices become bitter. Also, the wine can develop the sugar degradation product of Hydroxymethylfurfural, which is suspected to be carcinogenic.

DIY Mulled Wine: One Possible Spice Mix


  • 2 star anises
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3-4 tbsp. raw cane sugar

Coarsely crush star anise, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom pods in a food processor. Cut vanilla into small pieces. Then mix the spices with cane sugar and pour into a jar. You need about 1-2 tsp. for 250 ml / 8.45 oz. of wine. You can sweeten it to taste.

DIY Mulled Wine: The Classic Variety


  • 1L/ 34 oz. red wine (Pinot Noir or Regent)
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • Some cardamom (grated)

Cut the lemon into slices and add them along with the red wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves into a pot. Heat the wine until just before the boiling point (caution: do not boil!). Cover the pot and let it soak for about 1 hour. Afterwards, run it through a sieve and let it drain. Refine it with cardamom to taste. If the mulled wine is not sweet enough, you can sweeten it with honey or sugar.

DIY Mulled Wine: White Mulled Wine


  • 1L white wine (Sylvaner or Riesling)
  • 3 organic oranges
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • About 4 tbsp. honey
  • 1 vanilla bean (halved)

Cut off the peel of the oranges and then squeeze out all three. Slowly heat the juice along with the white wine, star anise, cinnamon stick, the halved vanilla bean and the orange peel. The same goes as earlier, don't boil the wine! Let the covered mulled wine sit for one hour. Then pour the mulled wine through a sieve to remove the orange peel, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Sweeten with honey to taste.

DIY Mulled Wine: Non-Alcoholic Punch

The low-calorie version of mulled wine is the non-alcoholic punch. This version is also popular (and safe) with the kids!


  • 1 L / 34 oz.  grape juice
  • 600 ml / 10 oz. unfiltered apple juice
  • 400 ml / 14 oz. unsweetened fruit tea
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 50 ml freshly squeezed organic lemon juice

Mix the grape juice, apple juice and fruit tea in a large pot. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods and warm everything together carefully. Then simmer on the oven for 3-4 hours. Before serving you can add some lemon juice to taste. Even smarter, use more tea than juice!

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