Traditional homemade mulled wine is a must make at Christmas time and this slow cooker version is so easy and great for serving to a crowd. Slow Cooker Mulled Wine is the perfect dump and leave festive drink that will have your whole house smelling amazing. Zesty orange and cinnamon laced red wine with a gin kick.
About this mulled wine recipe
Mulled wine in the slow cooker is so warming and cosy, it is like a festive hug in a mug. All of the best festive flavours like cinnamon, cloves, orange and star anise, cooked low and slow in a mixture of red wine, orange flavoured gin and maple syrup. It takes just 1 minute to prepare and only 7 ingredients needed.
If you have guests over this Christmas, then a big batch of the BEST mulled wine recipe is a must to greet them in from the cold. What a way to start off a Christmas party!
It is said that mulled wine originated in the 2nd century and it was created by the Romans. They would heat wine to defend their bodies against the cold winter - sounds good to us.
Also, have a look at our collection of 25 of the best Christmas Drinks.
Mulled wine ingredients
- Red wine - We have use a shiraz cabernet, however any red wine will work in this as it will take on all the other flavours. Try to avoid a cheap red wine, as not only will it taste cheap, but you will feel it the next morning!
- Gin - We like adding a little something extra to our slow cooker mulled wine. Whilst brandy would be the usual addition, we are gin drinkers and we find that an orange gin adds a delicious festive flavour to this.
- Orange - Is it even a Christmas drink without some orange? Just the juice and zest of one orange adds so much citrusy flavour.
- Maple syrup - We like to add a touch of sweetness to take the edge off. You could add honey, but we love the flavour of maple syrup, and it keeps this vegan too (assuming you use vegan wine).
- Cinnamon - Cinnamon is a must when it comes to anything festive. Just a few sticks of cinnamon added to the slow cooker add so much flavour, and they look nice served up in the glass too.
- Star anise and whole cloves - Another flavour bursting addition. You can pick these up in the herbs and spices aisle of any supermarket.
- Cranberries - You don't have to include these, however we find that they look really nice in the glass when they are all served up.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make mulled wine - Step by step
One: Put everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours. It's that simple!
Red wine is the star of this drink, however you have some other options. You could swap the red wine for white wine if that is all you have.
You then need to add some kind of spirit or liqueur. Brandy is the most traditional thing to add, however we like a glug of gin. You can get so many flavoured gins, so we went with orange gin for an extra festive twist.
You can also add some apple cider, and you would need a lot more of this than you would brandy or gin, as it isn't as strong.
If you wanted to make a non alcoholic version of slow cooker mulled wine this, then you can either use a non alcoholic red wine (you can get some really great ones in the supermarket) or use grape juice. You could also use a mixed of cranberry and apple juice instead. Have you tried our Non Alcoholic Mulled Apple Cider recipe?
Stove top (hob) mulled wine
If you don't have 2 hours to cook this on the slow cooker, then you can cook it on the hob (stove top) with all the same ingredients.
Simply add everything to a large pan and then heat the wine on a medium heat until just before it starts to simmer (you don't want to boil off the alcohol) and then turn down to a low heat and cook for a further 15 minutes. Then follow the same instructions for this slow cooker version by straining the liquid.
Yes, you can make this with a dry white wine. We don't think it tastes as nice, as red wine is so warming and comforting. But if white wine is all you have, then that works too.
You could leave the maple syrup out, however we find it takes the bitterness away a little bit.
Some of the alcohol will cook off, however not all. How much alcohol you are left with will depend on a few variables. Such as: how much alcohol you start with, how long it is cooked for and at what temperature, and what kind of vessel it was cooked in. Cooking it in an open shallow pan will evaporate faster compared to a slow cooker with a lid.
You can store this in a bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days, so make a big batch of it for Christmas. Make sure that it has fully cooled before you put it in the fridge. The bottle needs to have a lid on it and be air tight. I would recommend removing the spices before storing, as they will intensify otherwise, but some people might like that.
You can drink it cold, however it is best enjoyed warm. You can either heat it through in the slow cooker, or on the hob.
Yes, if you use maple syrup rather than honey then this recipe is vegan. Just make sure that the red wine you are using is vegan too.
More festive recipes
Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
- 750 ml (3 cups) Red wine
- 50 ml (0.25 cups) Orange gin
- 50 ml (0.25 cups) Maple syrup
- 1 Orange - (juice and zest only, then sliced)
- 3 Cinnamon sticks
- 5 Cloves
- 3 Star anise
- Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 2 hours.
- A splash of cranberry juice also adds a nice burst of flavour.
- You could also add the fresh cranberries to the wine mixture to cook at the same time, rather than adding them just before serving.
- There might not look like a lot of spices in the slow cooker, but trust us on this. They all have such strong flavours, so you don't need to go overboard.
- Make sure you strain all the spices from the wine mixture, as nobody was soggy cloves in their drink.
- To keep the mulled wine warm, turn your slow cooker to the warming setting and it will keep warm for the evening.
- You could add some halved strawberries for a bit of a summer twist to this.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.