Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

Holiday Mulled Wine

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine ~ this warming winter cocktail scents the whole house, and guests can help themselves!  Let’s get this party started!

The perfect fall party drink, a steaming glass of spiced wine

Steamy hot mulled wine has been warming cold hands and whipping up holiday spirit for centuries.  I’ve just been waiting for the temperatures to drop a bit to share this recipe with you — I think you’re going to love this easy, slow cooker method.   When our kids were young I always made spiced cider in the slow cooker for holiday parties.  Everybody would wander in to the kitchen and fill their mugs.  Now that my kids are of legal age, we’re upping the ante, and mulling wine.  Some of my favorite alcoholic drinks are served hot, but most of them are after dinner deals.  I love this because it starts party off.  In fact it’s the perfect way to start almost any fall or winter gathering.  Everybody can fill up their own mug or paper cup and mingle.  Ladle it into thermoses for tailgating and other outdoor events.

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

There are so many variations on this drink, but basically it consists of red wine, sweetened just a little bit, and mulled, or steeped, with spices and fruit.  Sometimes it’s ‘enriched’ with a little brandy.   All you really have to do is warm it up, let it hang out for a bit, and serve.  For harvest celebrations, I’d do the spices along with clementines, but for the winter holidays I like to use fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs.  Traditional European recipes call for raisins, so it wouldn’t be out of place to use dried cranberries, too.

A steaming cup of spiced mulled wine

You can serve the wine in paper cups, mugs, or glasses, but because the wine is hot, I like to fit the glasses with knitted cuffs.  I make them out of old socks or the sleeves of thrift store sweaters.   You can use your cozies for all kinds of hot drinks like coffee, tea, Irish coffee type drinks, and cocoas too.  Here’s an easy tutorial on how to make these sock cozies.

Make your own mulled wine cozy out of old socks!

The crock pot method is perfect for making mulled wine because the low even temperature will insure that the wine doesn’t boil, and you can make it and forget it just before your guests arrive.

Holiday Mulled Wine

This is a recipe that you can feel confident in adjusting to your taste.  Use whatever red wine you like, leave out spices you don’t like, add more of those you do.  You can use honey in place of sugar.  Play with it, taste as you go, and make it your own.

Your house will smell divine while this mulled wine simmers in your slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

Yield: serves 8

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine


    Harvest Mulled Wine
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp whole allspice berries
  • 4 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 5 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the back of a spoon to expose the seeds
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, slit down the center (if you save pods this is a good time to reuse one)
  • a good grating of fresh nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 8 clementines, cut in half (remove any seeds)
  • garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick and a star anise
    Holiday Mulled Wine
  • switch out the clementines for 1/2 cup cranberry juice and 1/2 cup whole fresh cranberries
  • add 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • garnish each glass with a sprig of rosemary and a few cranberries


  1. Put the water and sugar in the crock pot and turn on high. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Juice 4 of the clementines and add to the pot.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat until the wine just gets to a simmer. Then turn the dial to the 'keep warm' setting and let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
  3. You can strain the wine before serving, or not.
  4. For the Holiday version, the process is the same, omit the clementines and use cranberries and rosemary.


You can double the recipe, but the actual whole spices don't have to be doubled.



Don’t forget to pin this Slow Cooker Mulled Wine!

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine ~ this warming winter cocktail scents the whole house, and guests can help themselves!  Let's get this party started!  #wine #mulledwine #crockpot #slowcooker #holidays #Christmas #thanksgiving #holidaydrinks #hotdrinks #falldrinks #winterdrinks #mulledwinerecipe #bestmulledwine


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    November 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Do you have to have all the spices whole? I can’t get whole cardomom pods where I live only the ground spice. Same with the nutmeg. Will those already ground still work in the mix?

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      November 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      I think that should be fine, but don’t add too much, you don’t want to cloud the wine with ground spice. Add a little and go by taste. And remember you can always buy whole spices online, and I think it’s really worth it, they last a long time, too. Good luck and happy holidays :)

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    Ross Simmonds
    December 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    The instruction say to juice 4 of the clementines. What do you suggest with the other 4? I quartered mine!?!?

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      December 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Ross! In the ingredient list it says to halve all the clementines, and I left the unjuiced ones that way, they look really pretty floating in the wine.

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    Katie T
    December 17, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Hello, my name is Katie and I work for a magazine in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m working on an online blog post about Warm Winter Beverages and I came across your Holiday Mulled Wine recipe above. I was wondering if I could include the photo in the blog post and link back to your site. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      December 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Of course, Katie, thanks for asking!

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    December 8, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Is there a specific type of wine you suggest using?

    • Reply
      December 8, 2015 at 7:23 am

      It can really be any red wine you like, Natasha, but you might start with a Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Merlot.

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    Ashleigh Johnston
    October 23, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Hi! I’d like to republish this amazing recipe in my winter newsletter for a non profit lake association. Can I do so with proper credit to the author and the photographer?

    drop me a line at

    I’d love to hear from you,

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