Spiced Mulled Wine with Orange Liqueur Recipe

Prep Time Cook Time Serves
5m 15m 4-6

Once the holiday season starts in Europe, Christmas markets start to roll out each weekend and mulled wine appears everywhere. Restaurants, markets, school and church events…they all come with a glass of mulled wine, or as the french say “vin chaud”.

Some mulled wine is delicious, and some is downright awful! A lot of it has to do with the amount of sugar and whether natural, real spices were used. In this recipe I use the technique suggested in Jamie Oliver’s mulled wine recipe of creating a syrup with some wine, the sugar and spices first. It’s a great way to ensure all the flavors infuse into your wine.

The spices and addition of Cointreau are my own choosing. Of course, you can adjust these according to your preferences, but I think this recipe works well.


  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 4 slices orange peel, white pith removed
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 ounce orange flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau


Place the first 7 ingredients into a medium-sized pot. Pour over enough red wine to just cover the sugar, approximately ½ a cup of wine. Heat the contents over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the wine has reduced to a syrup, about 8-10 minutes. Add the rest of the wine and the orange flavored liqueur. Stir to combine and heat through gently, about 5 minutes. Once the wine is warm, it is ready to serve.

Carefully ladle the warm wine into your serving glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick.