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Mulled Wine


Mulled wine is a classic holiday crowd pleaser and one that is extremely easy to make.  You just throw everything in a pot, and turn on the stove.  This recipe below is an adaptation of a traditional Nordic style of mulled wine called, Glögg (rhymes with “blog,” or, if you want the correct Swedish pronunciation, it’s more like "glug”) which is spiked with aquavit and garnished with raisins and slivered almonds.  


Mine uses brandy or Cognac and some port, but one or the other will also be fine, or neither.   Mulled wine by itself is wonderful.  The spices are also adjustable.  Cinnamon is the one that’s really key.   The almonds and raisins can also be skipped, if desired.



  • 4 bottles of red wine

  • 1 cup Cognac or brandy

  • 1 cup Ruby Port

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 10 cinnamon sticks

  • 30 (or a handful) whole cloves

  • 10 whole cardamom pods

  • grated zest of 2 oranges

  • 4 whole nutmeg

  • Rasins and slivered almonds for garnish


  1. Combine wine and spices in a pot, but not the brandy and port.  The spices can bundled in cheesecloth for easy removal later.  

  2. Cover and heat over medium heat.   

  3. Gently simmer for about half an hour. Do not boil or you will cook off too much alcohol.  No fun.   

  4. Remove from heat and let it sit for a couple hours, or even overnight, to steep.  It should be very  fragrant, but not taste too astringent, so feel free to taste.   

  5. When the desired flavor is reached, strain out the spices, or remove the cheesecloth bag.   This can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.

  6. When you're ready to serve, reheat and stir in the cognac and port. 

  7. Ladle into punch cups or tea cups and garnish with raisins and almonds.   Or a cinnamon stick and a star anise (as pictured).  Or with nothing!

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If you make a batch of Mulled Wine, let me see!  Tag a photo with #socialhourcocktails on Instagram.

rye whiskey, social hour, tom macy, cocktail, classic cocktail

My dad and I enjoying some glögg by the tree on Christmas Eve in 2013. This was the day before I gave him and my mom the Social Hour booklet for Christmas, which inspired this site.

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