Spice things up with this traditional mulled wine recipe!

Our summer dwindles as autumn rears, bringing with it shorter days and chilly nights. And soon, the only thing that can properly warm us up is good old traditional mulled wine.

This recipe dates back to the Roman empire around the second century. Of course, it wasn’t called mulled wine back then; they used to call it ‘Conditum Pradoxum‘, translating loosely to ‘surprise spiced wine’, with the ultimate trick being to heat it up.

There were many variations to this beautiful man-made creation, adding assortments of fruits, spices, and natural sweeteners. In the days of yore, mulled wine showcased good health, warmth, and happiness — something which we could all do with today!

Our mulled wine recipe below comes from Adrienne Stillman’s cocktail bible Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World, includes a fabulous array of cocktail recipes you can recreate at home.

Can Mulled Wine Get You Drunk?

Traditional mulled wine is made with alcoholic red wine. And even though the warming of it may burn away some alcoholic content, it’ll still get you pretty drunk if you consume enough of it. Of course, while it may not be traditional, you can substitute alcoholic red wine with non-alcoholic red wine. Like Almost Zero’s Radiant Merlot, with only 0.4% alcohol.

You are most welcome to get creative with your own variations, by adding star anise, swapping brown sugar with maple syrup, or thinly slicing a whole orange instead of just adding zest. As for the desired red wine, usually Merlots and Grenaches work best.


1 orange
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of whole cloves
750mL bottle of dry red wine
1/4 cup of brown sugar
60mL of St Remy VSOP Brandy


1. Peel orange zest in long strips, avoiding the bitter white pith. Place the zest, along with other spices, in a teabag or piece of cheese cloth tied with string.

2. Combine the wine and spice bag in a large pot over medium heat. Once steaming (DO NOT LET IT BOIL!), add sugar and stir to dissolve.

3. Reduce heat to low and continue to heat for 30 minutes. Feel free to taste and add more sugar if desired. Add the brandy last, stir in, then ladle into heatproof mugs to serve.

Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World by Adrienne Stillman
Image via Booktopia

Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World by Adrienne Stillman

Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World is a comprehensive concoction of 610 cocktail recipes from six continents and 60 countries. Whether its classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Long Island Iced Tea, a traditional Wassail from the Middle Ages, or a traditional mulled wine like the one above, you are sure to find it in this textbook-sized collection. Matched with easy-to-follow recipes are the historical origins of each cocktail, as well as extensive outlines of all things cocktails and a few cool backstories.

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Looking for other wine-based recipes? Be sure to try these 4 Wine Infused Cocktails for your own happy hour at home. Make sure your bar is up to date with these 10 Essentials You Need For Your Home Cocktail Bar.

Feature image: Photographed by Rabusta. Image via Shutterstock.
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