Warm up any holiday gathering with this easy crockpot mulled wine recipe

Photo credit Mollie Kendrick

I absolutely love the Christmas and holiday season, and I just couldn't wait to add some spice to my life with a warm cup of mulled wine. So, I found a recipe to try and let me tell you, it's so delicious and incredibly easy to follow. 

I originally found this recipe from The Gay Globetrotter via Pinterest, and had to make a tweak or two with what I had available in my kitchen. 

These are the ingredients you'll need: 

  • Two bottles of red wine (go for malbec, pino noir, or cabernet sauvignon) 
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Orange peels (one orange) 
  • 1 cup cranberries 
  • Mulling spices (if you can't find the packets, use 4 cinnamon sticks, 8 star anise, and 1 tablespoon whole cloves) 

You'll need a crockpot, proper measuring tools, and, if you are using whole spices, you can wrap them up in cheesecloth (I highly recommend doing this). 

Set the crockpot on low, and pour the wine in the pot. Add all ingredients and allow the mulling spices to seep in the wine for two hours on low. 

Here are a couple helpful tips that I tried: 

  • Again, cheesecloth was awesome to have. You can put the whole spices in there, but something about doing that just seems gross to me. 
  • Microwave the honey for 30 seconds so it runs out of the measuring cup quicker and more thoroughly. 
  • I didn't have straight brandy on hand, so I used cherry brandy. It was delicious! 
  • It's totally okay if you get wine in the $10-15 range. In fact, I actually used two different brands entirely and it turned out just fine! (I don't know what I was thinking when I picked two different bottles, but it really didn't make any difference.) 
  • I don't have any specific brands I'd recommend. But you can have a lot of fun with all of these ingredients by using locally sourced wine, honey, etc.! 
  • You don't have to eat the cranberries. They'll lightly cook in the wine, but they're not going to get to a cranberry sauce consistency at all. I belive they're more there for decoration. 

Enjoy your mulled wine! It's very spicy but it'll warm you up on a crisp fall day or cool winter night. 

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