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Recipe: Mulled Wine

This is not the headache-inducingly sweet beverage you remember, with a dire reputation. We retooled this holiday classic with complex spices and cocktail smarts, aiming for something that will take the ‘eew’ to ‘yeah’.

Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes prep, 30-45 minutes simmering.


8 cups


  • 20 whole cloves

  • 8 whole star anise

  • 6 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 whole nutmeg, smashed in mortar and pestle

  • 2 bottles of 2016 Locus Sud

  • 1 bottle of Locus Modo White (any vintage)

  • Oranges whole with peel, sliced 1/4 inch thick slices

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 oz. maple syrup (1/4 cup)

  • 2 oz. honey (1/4 cup)

  • 6 oz brandy (optional but like, do it and with something decent like Remy Martin VSOP)

  • Apples slices, orange segments, cinnamon sticks for garnish


In small frying pan, toast the cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg over low heat, stirring/shaking the pan often, until fragrant, about 5 mins.

Transfer to a large saucepan over medium low heat, stir in wine and the rest of the ingredients.

Slowly bring to just below simmer, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let steep for 30 mins for spices to impart "flavah" and infuse the wine.

Return to heat on medium-low, stir-in the brandy if using, for 5 minutes.

Run the mixture through a fine wire-mesh (Chinois if you have one) into a large heatproof bowl or carafe. And party.

If you are as pretentious as we are, serve it in rock glasses, garnished with orange and apple slices and even cinnamon sticks for shits and giggles.

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