Ginger mulled wine is an easy, warmly-spiced drink that will fill your kitchen with a wondrous aroma. This cozy, semi-homemade version features a spice shortcut with a kick from fresh ginger.
If the hot summer temperatures mean we get to have mango peach white sangria, then this time of year must be calling for sangria’s antithesis: mulled wine.
For one, the smell. With warm mulling spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice simmering away along with wine and/or apple cider on the stovetop, there’s zero chance your kitchen isn’t smelling good. It’s an easy drink to keep warmed on the stove to serve your guests, and instantly turns even an impromptu hang-out sesh into a cozy and inviting get-together.
Mulled wine, a fall and wintertime entertaining MVP.
This ginger mulled wine recipe includes a quick spice shortcut along with some fresh flavor love for a semi-homemade recipe that can easily be customized to your liking.
The base mixture here is equal parts red wine and apple cider, so it’s a bit lower in alcohol than some varieties out there that are more wine-heavy, or also include liquor like brandy. Each iteration of this mulled wine I think I might experiment with adding brandy but chicken out. It might be reserved in this household for sangria or Italian fig cookie filling only.
My favorite red wine variety (currently, at least) is Cabernet Sauvignon, so that’s what I use in mulled wine and highly recommend. It works because it’s on drier side as far as red wines go, which matches up well with the sweetness in apple cider.
Besides Cabernet Sauvignon, other reds that are drier or have a medium dryness are Merlot, Malbec, or Shiraz.
A time-saving tip
There are plenty of recipes for mulled wine and mulled cider out there that call on you to create our own spice bundles, which, I mean, fun! How festive.
Buuuut when it comes to mulled wine, I opt to go with a few tablespoons from a store-bought mulling spice packet. I feel like that might be controversial and I may have to hand in my foodie card or something, but let me tell you why.
Mulled wine only makes its appearance sparingly throughout the season when I’m entertaining, so the thought of buying jars of cardamom pods, star anise, and whole cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and dried orange peel (aka spend some $ dough $) on top of apple cider and wine wasn’t the most appealing to me.
I buy a packet of pre-made mulling spices in my regular grocery store for just a few dollars and with using two or so tablespoons at a time, it will be more than enough to last all mulled wine and apple cider season long.
And now for my favorite part of this whole easy entertaining drink recipe – ginger. Grating fresh ginger and allowing it to simmer alongside the spices gives this ginger mulled wine a spicy kick, as only ginger can.
In firming up this recipe I felt a bit like Goldilocks. The first time I used a lesser amount of sliced ginger (not grated) and didn’t find the ginger flavor to be strong enough. The second time I used grated ginger, but maybe a little bit TOO much. 🎶 Hurts so good, come on baby make it hurt so good… 🎶
The third time? Just right. You’ll definitely taste a bite from the ginger, but it’s not overpowering. That said, I recommend this recipe to those who indeed like ginger as it makes itself known. It adds a warming kick to a traditionally-spiced mulled wine recipe that will no doubt be welcome once the temperatures dip down.
- Use a red wine on the drier to medium-dry side as that counterbalances the sweetness from the apple cider.
- If you’d like to use a homemade mulling spice, please go right ahead! Store-bought mulling spice works just fine here and is the more cost-effective version.
Ginger Mulled Wine
- 2 cups red wine on the drier side (see note)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger, packed
- 2 tbsp orange peel
- 2 tbsp mulling spices
- Stir together all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat on low-medium heat until mixture is bubbling.
- Once bubbling, adjust heat to let simmer for at least a half hour (or longer). Strain before serving.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.