Ben and I have a cozy, wood-burning fireplace, which, after 15 months in our home, we have lit exactly zero times. I’m hoping our first snowfall will inspire us to finally light the logs, but in the meantime, I’m keeping myself warm beside the slow cooker of White Spiced Wine instead.
Our failure to take advantage of our fireplace feels rather criminal. We have a large stack of wood in the backyard for fuel, all of the fireplace tools we need, and plenty of chilly winter nights to merit the flame.
My issue is inertia. On my couch, I’m an object at rest, and I will stay at rest, particularly if it’s cold and icky outside (and I have a mug of Hot Buttered Bourbon in my hands).
Ben’s issue is fear. He assumes that if we light a fire, we will ignite the house in the process. Considering I once lit our oven on fire by allowing an especially cheesy casserole to bubble over, his unease is not entirely unfounded.
This slow cooker white spiced wine could be the final catalyst that spurs us to kindle the flame.
How to Make White Spiced Wine
Hot spiced wine (also called mulled wine) is a drink I look forward to every holiday season (along with this Christmas Punch).
This more classic Mulled Wine is one of the most popular recipes on my site, and I thought it would be fun to update it to a festive version with white wine.
Spiced with warm cinnamon and cloves, infused with refreshing citrus, and sporting the red and green pop of cranberries and rosemary, this slow cooker white spiced wine is so cozy (and EASY), a roaring fire is almost obligatory while sipping on this warm holiday cocktail.
- White Wine. Reach for a dry white wine, like a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay for the best mulled white wine. No need to splurge on anything expensive. The cheap stuff is just fine for this spiced wine recipe.
- Orange Peel. Add a bright citrus flourish that pairs well with white wine (and is especially good in a Brandy Old Fashioned.)
- Cranberries. White cranberry juice adds some tang while whole red cranberries look like Christmas jingle bells floating in your glass.
- Cinnamon Sticks. Add earthiness and warmth that give this mulled cocktail that iconic holiday aroma (similar to this Apple Cider Cocktail).
- Fresh Rosemary. Smells and tastes amazing PLUS looks like baby Christmas trees.
- Star Anise. Gives the spiced white wine a subtle licorice flavor.
- Whole Cloves. Marries beautifully with the other spices.
- Rum. For an extra splash of holiday cheer in every sip—why not?
- Boil the rosemary together with half of the white cranberry juice until fragrant.
- Strain into a slow cooker, then add some orange peel to the slow cooker.
- Stir in the remaining white cranberry juice, white wine, whole cranberries, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
- Cook on low for 1 hour, until warm.
- Stir in the rum and serve warm. ENJOY!
- To Store. Let your slow cooker spiced wine cool completely, then pour it into an airtight storage container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm spiced white wine in a large pot on the stovetop over low heat, or pour leftovers into your slow cooker and reheat on LOW until warm.
- Slow Cooker. This one switches to “keep warm” once the cooking time is done so items don’t overcook.
- Ladle. The best way to serve your mulled wine.
- Festive Barware. Is it just me, or does a drink in a fun cocktail glass test even better?
Whether you make this white spiced wine for a formal holiday party, a quiet night at home, or a casual evening with close friends, this warm, wintery drink hits the spot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure. I personally prefer to use a dry white wine, however, if you like your drinks on the sweet side, feel free to experiment with sweet white wine varieties.
Yes. Rum is my favorite way to “spike” spiced white wine but you could also add brandy, bourbon, or even an orange-flavored liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier would be tasty.
I have not made this recipe with ground spices so I can not recommend them or provide guidance on amounts. If you’d like to experiment with using ground spices, I would suggest steeping them in a loose-leaf tea filter rather than allowing them to mix and float freely with the wine.
White Spiced Wine
- 2 rosemary sprigs plus additional for serving
- 1 cup white cranberry juice divided
- 1 orange
- 1 bottle dry white wine (750 ml) such as Pinot Grigio
- 1 cup cranberries fresh (rinsed) or frozen, plus additional for serving (do not use dried)
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole star anise pod
- 1/4 cup light rum
- Cinnamon sticks for serving
- Place the rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a large saucepan with 1/2 cup white cranberry juice. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 3 minutes, then strain into the bottom of a slow cooker. Discard the rosemary stems.
- With a vegetable peeler, gently scrape away the rind of the orange so that you have orange peelings, being careful not to get any of the white pith, which is bitter. Add the peels to the slow cooker.
- To the slow cooker, add the remaining 1/2 cup white cranberry juice, bottle of white wine, cranberries, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Cook on low for 1 hour, until warm.
- Stir in the rum. Serve warm garnished with additional rosemary, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks.
- TO STORE: Let your slow cooker spiced wine cool completely, then pour it into an airtight storage container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm spiced white wine in a large pot on the stovetop over low heat, or pour leftovers into your slow cooker and reheat on LOW until warm.
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