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mulled wine; cheers to a merry christmas & new year!

Why is a nutritionist posting a recipe for mulled wine? I’ll tell you why. It’s because life is for living. Life is not about deprivation and an ‘all or nothing approach’ that leaves us resenting a healthy lifestyle. When you want to kick up your heels and let your hair down, then you should do so without guilt.

For me, Christmas and New Year is always a time to get a little indulgent. I’m not advicating going crazy and ending up in a world of over indulgent boozy hurt, but personally I do like to enjoy some great wines and plenty of amazing food. One of these pleasures include my husbands mulled wine.

When I was first dating my husband he wooed me with this recipe. He would make a batch that would sit on the stove bubbling away, then he would pour each of us a mug and we would sit out on the balcony sipping away on our steaming hot spiced wine. Admittedly it was cooler then, but I do enjoy this mulled wine as the sun sets even in the hotter months.

Since this is his recipe, I cannot take an ounce of credit for it. He is also particularly OCD about sticking to a recipe, so it took a bit of fight for him to agree for me to reduce the sugar down and replace it with rapadura sugar in place of regular white sugar. Personally I like this option better, as it is less sweet and tends to let the spices and citrus come through more.

You will also see he uses *gasp* cask wine for his mulled wine. I tried to challenge him on this too, but he was adament that the brand he was using was fine and “this is the way it’s done”. If you would like to use an organic or low sulphur red wine you certainly could however.

Making mulled wine is really fun, it fills the house with wonderful aroma’s and it is such a pleasure to share with family and friends. I really hope this inspires you to make up a batch and share it with your loved ones over the holidays, I know I certainly will! (Who am I kidding, I’m not making it, he is!).

mulled wine; cheers to a merry christmas & new year!

Print Recipe

makes x3 750ml bottles
preparation time
15 minutes
cooking time
30 – 40 minutes


  • 3 large oranges
  • 3 large lemons
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rapadura sugar or muscovado sugar
  • 8 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 grated nutmeg
  • 20 cloves
  • 2 litres cask red wine (cabernet merlot)
  • x3 sterilised 750ml bottles
  • muslin cloth


Begin by thinly cutting the oranges and lemons into rounds, as per the images seen above. Crush the cinnamon sticks and grate your nutmeg ready to go.

In a large saucepan or wok (my hubby suggests using a wok as the heat can be controlled quickly) add the water and sugar. Bring this to a simmer and then add i the sliced oranges and lemons and all the spices. Bring to a boil, then turn right down to a simmer and cover. Leave to simmer, though stirring often, for 30 minutes or until all the citrus has broken down and formed a juicy pulp.

Leave the pulp mixture to cool. Once it has cooled down, drain the mix through a muslin clothe into bowl ensuring to squeeze the contents super tight to release as much liquid as possible.

Once you have all of the liquid, use a funnel to distribute the pulp evenly through the three bottles. Now, top up each bottle with the wine, then turn the bottles up and down a few times to distribute the pulp.

The mulled wine can be drunk straight away, however it is better left to sit for week, which allows the flavours to develop. To drink, warm the mulled wine in a saucepan on the stove to just warmed (just above tepid), then pour into mugs or deep double glazed glasses and enjoy!

nutritional information

  • I’m not going to tell you this mulled wine is bursting with nutritional goodness, at the end of the day it is alcohol! However, for a mulled wine it is quite low in sugar and does include some medicinal herbs, so for me that is an added bonus. I generally advise my clients who like to enjoy a drink here or there to aim for 4 alcohol free days per week. Then, on the days they are drinking aim for 2 standard drinks per sitting.
  • I have used muscovado sugar or rapadura sugar in this recipe. My hubby usually uses regular white sugar, but I hassled him to let me change his recipe here and change this up (along with the quantity). I like that these alternative less refined sugars also have a slight caramel edge too them too as far as flavour.

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