Slow Cooker Spiced Wine (Mulled Wine)
Slow cooker spiced wine is an easy holiday cocktail recipe, made with red wine, apple cider, citrus, and warm spices. The delicious warm drink will be a festive hit at your holiday parties. One of the best crock pot recipes to warm you up from the inside out!
The holidays have a way of making me reflective. In between the chaos and the cream cheese sugar cookies, these special weeks fill me with quiet gratitude. When I take a moment to truly pause, I see my blessings everywhere. I can’t imagine a cozier way to snuggle up and count them than with a spiced, steaming mug of hot slow cooker spiced wine.
What is Spiced Wine?
Spiced wine goes by many names—mulled wine, hot wine, grogg, and vin chaud are a few I hear used interchangeably.
If you’ve never had it, spiced wine tastes like a big, fruity red wine crossed with a spicy batch of apple cider, with a hit of brandy and a sprinkle of holiday magic.
Spiced wine is piping hot, smells of cloves and cinnamon, and tastes of the childhood nights my sisters and I spent singing unsolicited Christmas carols to our neighbors and convincing my dad to light our wood-burning fireplace: cozy, welcome, and somehow familiar.
Every sip makes me want to take a sleigh ride on a starlit night and then warm myself beside a fire in a quaint European café. On nights when the cold nips my neck and threatens to settle into my bones, nothing warms me to the core like this richly spiced, aromatic cocktail.
Mulled wine is one of my absolute must-make recipes every year. It’s festive, easy to make in bulk for a crowd, and always delights my guests.
I was introduced to spiced wine as a college student studying abroad in France. Vin chaud (literally “hot wine”) appears throughout France during the winter months.
To this day, every sip transports me back to the winding outdoor Christmas market where I first tried it all those years ago.
Since that first sip in France, I’ve taken to making slow cooker spiced wine each year.
The Best Slow Cooker Spiced Wine Recipe
While I can’t state authoritatively that this is THE traditional mulled wine recipe (there seem to be as many variations of mulled wine as there are European cafés in which to sip them), I’ve made enough batches over the years to state with confidence that this is my best mulled wine recipe.
A mulled wine with brandy, apple cider, orange, and a mix of warming spices, this jolly drink will leave you warm and merry on even the chilliest of nights.
This slow cooker spiced wine recipe can easily be made on the stove, but I love making it in my slow cooker, especially for parties.
The slow cooker keeps the stove top free and the spiced wine warm, and it’s easy for guests to access for refills.
While there isn’t a single best wine for mulled wine, as long as you choose something dry and full bodied, your spiced wine will be delightful.
The brandy, cider, orange, and spices infuse the wine with lots of flavor, so pick something like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah that can stand up to the ingredients versus a more delicate pinot noir. If you aren’t a fan of red wine, you can also check out my recipe for White Spiced Wine.
Related: I also have my eye on these Mulled Wine Margaritas (Anyone want to come over at 5?).
You can be quite economical with spiced wine. Because of the added flavors, this is a good place to make use of a more budget-friendly bottle. Don’t choose the very bottom shelf, but you can save the super good stuff to enjoy on its own.
Slow Cooker Spiced Wine
- 750 ml red wine — (1 bottle) — choose something fruity but not too sweet—Merlot, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon all work well
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 orange — zested and juiced
- 5 whole cloves
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/4 cup brandy
- Orange slices — for garnish
- Cinnamon sticks — for garnish
Add wine, cider, honey, orange zest, and orange juice to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir to combine. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise. Cook on low until warm, 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your slow cooker. Stir in the brandy.
Ladle into mugs and serve with an orange slice and cinnamon sticks. To keep the wine warm, leave the slow cooker on the "Keep Warm" setting. If your slow cooker does not have a warm setting, alternate between "Low" and "Off."
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1(of 6), about 8 fluid ounces) — Calories: 222, Sodium: 26mg, Carbohydrates: 26g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g
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