Drink,  Recipes,  Travel

Recreating Cozy Magic: A Homemade Mulled Wine Adventure

The first time I tried a mulled wine was in the autumn of 2015. I went to Frankfurt for the International Book Fair for a business trip. After the fair, I decided to brave the chilly weather and embark on a sightseeing adventure with my parents; The temperature hovered around only 9 degrees Celsius. My mom who hates the cold, and she still bravely joined and explored local marketplaces with us. When my dad decided to take his beer break, she questioned the sanity of us sipping cold beers in such cold conditions. She doesn’t understand how we can still order beer like German. However, she would like to have some alcoholic drink but not a straight liquor. 

I asked the waiter for options. That’s when the bartender told us we can try the mulled wine. We didn’t really know what it was, all we know it’s hot wine and according to him, it’s delicious and sweet. With little knowledge of what mulled wine is, it sounds like something my mom might enjoy and also that’s the only option we had. We took a leap of faith and ordered it, and it was guaranteed by our waiter that the mulled wine was delicious, and we wouldn’t regret it. That’s how I discovered you can drink wine as a hot drink! I was mind blown! 

As my curiosity piqued, I delved into the world of mulled wine and soon discovered its status as a beloved holiday drink. However, despite its popularity, my personal preference still leaned towards hot mochas or rich hot cocoa during the festive season.

With this straightforward recipe, I can effortlessly bring back the warmth of that initial sip right in the comfort of my own home. Each time I indulge in a steaming cup of mulled wine, it triggers a fond memory of my mom’s comically stern expression back in Germany. Her disapproval was evident as she observed us sipping cold beer in the chilly weather. Feel free to tweak the ingredients to suit your personal taste preferences.

Mulled Wine Recipe


  • A bottle of red wine
  • 1 orange 
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • ¼ cup of Your choice of sweetener. I like to
  • ¼- ½ cup of brandy. If you want extra kick: add some brandy or bourbon!

Step 1: Choose your wine.

Select a medium to full body wine that you like. People use Merlot, Cabinet sauvignon, ..

Step 2: Heat up your wine

Pour the wine into a large pot and set it on low to medium heat. Make sure not to let it boil because it can compromise the alcohol content and affect the taste. Add the brandy in if you choose to use it.

Step 3: Spice it up

Drop in the orange peel strips, cinnamon, cloves and star anises. Don’t dump everything in all at once. Adjust the quantities base on your taste preferences. The unused ingredient can just be garnish at the end.

Step 4: Sweetening the pot

A touch of sweetness will enhance the flavor of mulled wine. Add your preferably sweetener to your taste preference. Make sure to stir it gently to dissolve.

Step 5: Simmer and infuse the flavor

Now you let the mulled wine simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. This step allows the spice to infuse into the wine. Your kitchen will be filled with a delightful aroma, provide you a cozy atmosphere. Please make sure to avoid letting it bubble in anyway.

Step 6: Strain and serve

Strain your mulled wine with a mesh strainer to remove all the orange slices and spices. Personally I like to add an orange slice, and a cinnamon stick and a star anisi on top! Pour your mulled wine into mugs or heat proof glass. Garnish with your favorite spices. Serve and drink it warm and enjoy the rich and spiced flavor.

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