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
    Lori
    November 17, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I made a couple edits/additions. 1/4 C blackberry Brandy instead of regular brandy, 1 full orange peeled and sliced + about 1/4 tsp of the zest instead of the clementines. Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate and the 1/2c cranberries to the regular full recipe. Thank you, this will be PERFECT for our holiday party. Oh, and I couldn’t find the cardamom pods so I used approx 60 seeds.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 18, 2018 at 4:27 am

      I’m going to make mu first batch of the season this week, can’t wait. Love your alterations 🙂

  • Reply
    John
    November 15, 2018 at 1:46 am

    Could you use bourbon or whiskey in place of the Brandy?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 15, 2018 at 4:53 am

      Sure, if you like the flavor you can use anything you like.

  • Reply
    Ramona
    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?

    • Reply
      Sue
      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 🙂

  • Reply
    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!?!?

    • Reply
      Sue
      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.

  • Reply
    Katie T
    December 17, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    5 stars
    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
      Sue
      December 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Of course, Katie, thanks for asking!

  • Reply
    Natasha
    December 8, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Is there a specific type of wine you suggest using?

    • Reply
      Sue
      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.

  • Reply
    Ashleigh Johnston
    October 23, 2015 at 11:44 am

    5 stars
    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 [email protected]

    I’d love to hear from you,
    Ash

  • Reply
    Kerry
    November 5, 2014 at 6:09 am

    5 stars
    I love to leave the oranges in and add the cranberries! I love these photos, makes me excited to serve mulled wine for the holidays!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 5, 2014 at 9:04 am

      I agree, the more fruit the better!

  • Reply
    [email protected]+Floating+Kitchen
    November 3, 2014 at 6:53 am

    5 stars
    Love those little knitted cuffs! And loving that this is all done in the slow cooker. I wish I had a mug right now to wrap my chilly hands around!

  • Reply
    Heather // girlichef
    November 3, 2014 at 5:15 am

    5 stars
    I love the mulled wine, but I’m totally smitten with those cozies!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 3, 2014 at 6:06 am

      Thanks Heather — I will do the tutorial this week, promise!

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