Spiced mulled wine or cider

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins

This is my friend Shannon’s famous mulled wine. She recommends using a dry red wine over a fruity variety, and feels the flavours really pop when some of the wine is reduced to a syrupy consistency, a tip she learned from Jamie Oliver. Feel free to replace the wine with apple cider for a non-alcoholic version of the same drink.

Yields 20


  • 1 navel orange
  • one 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece lemon peel (for mulled wine only)
  • one 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece lime peel (for mulled wine only)
  • 6–8 whole cloves
  • 3–4 small (or 2 large broken) cinnamon sticks
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2–3 whole star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar (1 1/2 cups [375 mL] if using 3 bottles of wine)
  • two or three 25 oz (750 mL) bottles red wine
  • optional
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) orange-flavoured liqueur or even brandy (for mulled wine only)
  • cinnamon sticks and orange slices, for garnish


  1. Peel and juice the orange.
  2. In a large pot, combine the citrus peels, the juice of the orange, all of the spices and the sugar.
  3. Set the mixture over medium heat and give it a few stirs, lightly toasting the ingredients to release some of the flavours.
  4. Add 1 cup (250 mL) of wine and stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved; add a little more wine, if needed.
  5. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, letting it bubble for 5 minutes, or until it becomes thick and syrupy.
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the rest of the wine.
  7. Stir and heat until warmed through. Add the liqueur, if using, and mix well.
  8. Turn off the heat and strain into glass tumblers.
  9. Serve with a cinnamon stick and orange slice.
  10. Party Pointer Both variations of this recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Gently rewarm just before serving.


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