Ina Garten can do no wrong in our eyes, and that’s true of her best mulled wine recipe. Her signature holiday beverage is a classic and inspired our very own version, which is ideal for serving to a crowd during cold weather months.
But what is mulled wine, anyway? Typically, it’s a warm beverage that mingles red wine, mulling spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, star anise, and peppercorns), fruit (apples and oranges), and apple cider. The ingredients steep together for 15 to 20 minutes, slowly infusing the wine with fruity, spicy notes. There’s no exact formula, but these are the most common ingredients in this wonderfully warming drink.
For our recipe, grab an entire bottle of full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Don’t be cheap about it—use something that you’d actually want to drink on its own. That way, the flavor and aroma of the wine will still be front and center. and no amount of added booze or spices can mask the taste of bad wine!) Then you’ll add apple cider and honey, warm spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, and ground cloves, and the zest and juice of an orange.
Ina’s recipe calls for more oranges than our own, and we amped up the volume of apple cider. Play around with it to find what suits your taste. Everything simmers together in a pot for about 15 minutes before serving. It’s a drink best enjoyed warm—bring on all the cozy feels for fall and winter holidays galore! —Food52
red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon)
medium orange, zested and juiced
1 to 2 tablespoons
In a medium pot, add all ingredients except the sugar. Mix to combine and bring to boil. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, to taste. Cover and let steep for an additional 10 minutes (the longer it sits the better!). If a layer of foam develops on the top, gently skim it off and discard. Serve warm.