Mulled Wine in the Slow Cooker (Easy Christmas Drink!)

A recipe for party-perfect mulled wine made easy in the slow cooker. Warm spices, sugar, and fresh orange make this the coziest drink ever.

2 cups mulled wine with orange slilces

Sweet + Spiced Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

Just throw everything in your slow cooker and enjoy the sweet cinnamon fragrance while this mulled wine creates a delicious holiday blend perfect for a party or a cozy night in.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Serving Size 5 people

Equipment

  • Slow cooker

Ingredients 

  • 1 bottle red wine pick a moderately dry variety
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cinnamon sticks plus additional for garnish
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy optional, or try another flavored brandy

Instructions 

  • Prep the orange. Zest the orange and cut it in half.  Juice one half and reserve the other half for slicinng. Place the zest and the juice in thr slow cooker. Slice the remaining half of the orange into thin rounds.
    1 orange juice zested
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Place the wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and brandy in the slow cooker. Stir well, cover, and cook one low for one hour
    slow cooker filled with wine topped with orange slices and cinnamon sticks
  • Serve. Ladle the wine into mugs and garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
    2 clear mugs with mulled wine

Notes

This recipe doubles very easily!  It will still fit in a 6-quart slow cooker.  
The oranges will turn pink the slow cooker so you might want an extra for a fresh garnish.
Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick. This holiday drink takes only one hour in your slow cooker.
  • Yummy! The perfect blend of sugar and spice for a warm and comforting drink.
  • It’s super easy, great for parties, and delicious.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

bottle of red wine, cinnamon sticks, sugar, star anise, and apple brandy on marble counter

You’ll need the following for this cozy spiced wine.

  • Whole spices. I know it’s annoying to buy whole spices when you have the ground equivalent in your spice cabinet already. But whole spices are the key to making this recipe work! If you add ground spices, they will float to the top, look like dirt, and taste gritty. Not ideal!
  • Fruity liqueur. We love this the most with apple brandy, but you can absolutely leave it out and still have a delicious result. Try other liquers like amaretto, orange liquer, or Chambord.
  • A fresh orange. Orange juice is just not the same. Get a fresh one.
  • Dry red wine. We are adding sugar, so don’t pick a sweet and fruity red wine or the end result will be too sweet. And don’t waste a nice bottle on this recipe. The best wine for mulled wine is an inexpensive cabernet sauvignon or merlot.
2 cups mulled red wine in clear mug with cinnamon sticks
  • A slow cooker. You can also simmer this on the stove on low for 15 minutes, but the crock pot does a great job of keeping it warm.
  • A ladle
  • Mugs

🍴Instructions

Step One: Prep the orange

Zest the orange and cut it in half.  Juice one half and reserve the other half for slicing. Place the zest and the juice in the slow cooker. Slice the remaining half of the orange into thin rounds.

Step Two: add the remaining ingredients

crockpot with wine, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks

Place the wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and brandy in the slow cooker. Stir well, cover, and cook one low for one hour

Step three: garnish and serve

mug of wine with spices

Ladle the wine into mugs and garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

🥫 Storage instructions

This recipe is best served right away, but it can hang out in the slow cooker on the keep warm setting for a few hours.

Any leftovers can be poured into a pitcher and warmed up on the stove. (Or drank cold!)

🔍 FAQs

What’s the best time of wine for mulled wine?

Any inexpensive red will do., especially Merlot. Don’t waste money on a nice bottle.

Do you need whole spices for mulled wine?

Yes! Ground spices with be gritty and unpleasant in the finished drink.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Zest the whole orange before you start slicing!
  • Use a ladle to get the wine from the slow cooker into the mugs. Scooping it out is an awkward and messy affair.
  • I like to garnish these with whole fresh cranberries, mostly because we always have an extra bag in the freezer after Thanksgiving.
  • You can leave out the star anise if you want to, but it does add a lovely flavor and is beautiful.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

Having a holiday party? You’ll love these recipes too.

Variations

  • Add a splash of ginger ale to your mug after the wine is done.
  • In addition to the spices, add a spring of rosemary to the slow cooker.
  • Add apple slices, cranberries, or anything else that appeals to you.
Mulled Wine in the Slow Cooker (Easy Christmas Drink!)Mulled Wine in the Slow Cooker (Easy Christmas Drink!)Mulled Wine in the Slow Cooker (Easy Christmas Drink!)

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