Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

Slow Cooker Mulled Wine is a warming winter cocktail that scents the whole house, and, best of all, guests can help themselves! This cozy spiced wine is perfect for tailgating, evenings by the fire, and holiday open houses. Let’s get this party started!

mulled wine in a glass

slow cooker mulled wine is the perfect winter warmer

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 a 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

what you’ll need

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 Swedish recipes call for raisins, so it wouldn’t be out of place to use dried cranberries, too.

  • red wine ~ use what you like to drink, I use a Merlot or Cabernet
  • brandy
  • sugar
  • cinnamon sticks
  • allspice berries
  • anise
  • cloves
  • cardamom pods
  • nutmeg
  • anise
  • vanilla bean
  • clementines or other oranges like blood orange or navels
A steaming cup of spiced mulled wine

how to serve mulled wine

You can serve the wine in paper cups, mugs, or glasses, but because the wine is hot, make sure your glass is heatproof. I like to fit the glasses without handles 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.

Mulled wine is great in a thermos, too, for outdoor events.

mulled wine in glass cups

why mull wine in the crockpot?

The crock pot method is perfect for making mulled wine because the low even temperature will insure that the wine doesn’t boil, which that can make it taste bitter. The best part? You can make it and forget it before your guests arrive. Everyone can ladle their own.

Holiday Mulled Wine

variation suggestions

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. Play with it, taste as you go, and make it your own.

  • Omit the sugar, or use honey or maple syrup instead, to taste.
  • Use white wine.
  • Add fruit juice like pomegranate or cranberry.
  • Use a store bought mulling spice mix if you like.
  • Serve it chilled instead of hot.
  • Make mulled wine on the stove top, just be sure not to let it boil, or it can become bitter.
mulled wine in a saucepan

Just want to say I make this every year for the past 3 or 4 years and everyone loves it! I make it early in the day and it lasts for hours and makes the house smell great. Thank you for sharing!!”

Liz

Slow cooker mulled wine.
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3.5 from 153 votes

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!
Course beverage
Cuisine European
Yield 8 servings
Calories 186kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • slow cooker (optional)

Ingredients

Harvest Mulled Wine

  • 750 ml 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You can strain the wine before serving, or not.
  • For the Holiday version, the process is the same, omit the clementines and use cranberries and rosemary.

Cook’s notes

  • You can double the recipe, but the actual whole spices don’t have to be doubled.
  • You can make the mulled wine a day ahead and refrigerate. Then strain and rewarm in the slow cooker. You can add a few fresh orange slices.

Nutrition

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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48 Comments

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  • Reply
    ATasteOfMadness
    November 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    5 stars
    The slow cooker recipes are coming out, and it is making me wish I didn’t leave mine behind when I moved 🙁 This looks so good!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      I did the same thing, twice! But each time I caved in and bought another one…I think you’ll have to, too 🙂

  • Reply
    Dan
    November 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    5 stars
    Looking forward to trying this for Thanksgiving. If you decide not to post the instructions on how to make the knitted cuffs, I would love for you to send me the instructions! ???? Thanks for the post.

  • Reply
    Erica
    November 2, 2014 at 6:17 am

    What a delicious drink for the holidays……and your pictures are AMAZING!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Thanks Erica!

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    November 1, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Your sleeves are adorable! I love mulled wine, it’s probably one of my favourite things about the fall and winter seasons. I’ve never tried to make it in a slow cooker, though. Yum!

  • Reply
    [email protected]+press
    November 1, 2014 at 9:30 am

    5 stars
    absolutely gorgeous pictures – and I;m sure it is equally as delicous

  • Reply
    Lauren kelly Nutrition
    November 1, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I wish I had one of these right now!

  • Reply
    [email protected]+Cooking+with+Mamma+C
    October 31, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I’m so happy you posted this! The last time I had mulled wine was when I visited Belgium in December 2010. My Nonna also used to make something like this and give it to me when I was sick. I have my husband’s homemade wine to use and can’t wait to try this in the slow cooker!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      I’m so glad you’re going to try it, Andrea— and how lucky you are to have a husband who makes wine!

  • Reply
    Laura+(Tutti+Dolci)
    October 31, 2014 at 11:50 am

    5 stars
    I can only imagine how incredible your kitchen must have smelled while making this – love the spices and fresh citrus!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      It really does scent the entire house!

  • Reply
    Sippitysup
    October 31, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I don’t have a slow cooker but I’ve often thought this would be the perfect use for one, and you’ve proven it so. GREG

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Greg!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    October 31, 2014 at 9:47 am

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe! I made mulled wine once and everybody hated it – I think I used the wrong wine but oh well. I remember in my younger days – snow skiing in Colorado. I would get off the lift at the top and have a nice warm spiced wine before getting the courage to go downhill. Liquid courage – absolutely! Can’t wait to try this – and it makes me want to have company!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 31, 2014 at 10:28 am

      The first time I tried it I didn’t like it, I didn’t add the sugar because I don’t like sweet wine, but I think the sugar makes a big difference, and the fruit helps, too.

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