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.
Slow cooker mulled wine is so warming and cosy, it is like a festive hug in a mug. All of the best festive flavours like cinnamon, cloves, orange, cloves and star anise, cooked low and slow in a mixture of red wine, orange flavoured gin and maple syrup.
If you have guests over this Christmas, then a big batch of this is a must to greet them in from the cold. What a way to start off a Christmas party.
Looking for some other festive drinks to try? Why not try our Mulled Cider, Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate, Cinnamon Coffee and Chai Tea Latte?
Also, have a look at our collection of 25 of the best Christmas Drinks.
Why you will love it
- All of the flavours of Christmas - This slow cooker mulled wine has all the flavours that you would associate with Christmas. Cinnamon, cloves and cranberries. YUM!
- 1 minute to prepare - You just dump everything in and leave.
- Just 7 ingredients - Just a few ingredients make this festive drink and all the spices you probably already have in your spice rack.
- Easy to adapt - You can easily adapt the spices, and even the alcohol that is used.
- Great for making a big batch - You can easily double the recipe, as long as you have a slow cooker big enough for all the 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 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 a the juice and zest of one orange adds so much citrusy flavour.
- Maple syrup - we like to add a tough of sweetness to our mulled wine to take the edge off. You could add honey, but we love the flavour of maple syrup, and it keeps this vegan too.
- 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.
Step by step
One: Put everything in to the slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours.
What is mulled wine?
If you have never tasted, or even hear of, mulled wine before then you have been missing out. This winter cocktail is a must during the festive season, whilst cuddled up on the sofa watching a Christmas film.
It is such a simple drink to make, but with a lot of flavour. A bottle of wine, mixed with another alcohol of your choice (think brandy or gin) and some festive spices.
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. Throughout the next century, the Romans conquered much of Europe and their love for mulled wine spread across their empire and the regions they traded with. This is why there are so many different variations of mulled wine across Europe, all with different names.
What alcohol to use
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 gin, 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 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.
What to serve with slow cooker mulled wine
This is a must over the Christmas season, so here are some of our favourite Christmas recipes that you could serve it alongside:
- Cranberry Chicken
- Healthy Christmas Cookies
- Leftover Turkey Curry
- Cranberry and Brie Bites
- Christmas Tree Pizza
- Antipasto Platter
- Christmas Salad
- Honey Roast Duck
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.
Nothing, they are the same thing. Glühwein is what they call it in Germany and you might have had it at a Christmas market. There will be regional variations in the recipe, but it is essentially the same thing. In Italy is it called brulé, in Nordic countries, it is called glögg (glog). In French it is called chaud and it is called bisschopswijn in Dutch.
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.
• 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.
More festive recipes
If you’ve tried this slow cooker mulled wine, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
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.
I always make mulled wine for the holidays! I love the idea of using a slow cooker to make it!
Never knew I could make this in the slow cooker until now! Everyone loved it and requesting to make again for Christmas :)
I made mulled wine for the first time this year and it has quickly become my new favorite holiday drink to serve! So festive and comforting...this is beautiful!
I’ve always wanted to make my own mulled wine! Can’t wait to get started! Gorgeous pics, friend!
Absolutely delicious and so perfect this time of year! Love the touch of maple especially.
Hi, I have some brandy in the cupboard which I'd like to use up is it still 50mls?
If I'm making a big batch for approx 20people do I need to alter the spice to wine ratio?
In the recipe card towards the bottom of the post, you can adjust the amount of servings you would like and it will adjust the ingredient amounts.
Love how festive this mulled wine looks! Perfect drink for the holidays this year.
I love mulled wine although my version is non alcoholic and slow cooking it really yields that flavour.
Mama Maggie's Kitchen
This Slow Cooker Mulled Wine is a perfect idea to have on Christmas! I'm sure my family and friends will love this on their glasses.
Love mulled wine and this is a great idea to leave it in the slow cooker. The house will smell amazing too.
This mulled wine is the perfect treat for a cold winters night. It makes the whole house smell like Christmas too. I love your recipe. It was easy to follow and everyone loved it.
I bet the house smells so good as it cooks in the slow cooker!
Mulled wine is one of my favorite holiday drinks! It's so festive and tastes delicious. I can't wait to make this for my holiday party!
This looks just like what Christmas in a glass should look like!
Looks so good! Can't wait to try this one with my family.
This looks so good and easy to make. The real challenge is trying not to keep these all to myself!
I love that this is made in the slow cooker! Definitely making this for Christmas this year!
What a beautiful holiday beverage to serve! I love that I can just toss everything in my slow cooker and then come back in 2 hours to enjoy. That makes it super easy to make for a party as well. Great recipe!
This is the ultimate in Christmas drinks! I love using mulling spices in drinks - can't wait to try this!
I always love when this makes an appearance at parties but had no idea how easy it was to make! I'll definitely be giving this a try this season.