How To Make Mulled Cider & Wine

When the air turns crisp and heat gives way to autumn, it’s the perfect time to mull your cider or wine and cozy up indoors.  

What does “mulled” mean? 

“Mulled” is simply a deep steep, in which you simmer spices to draw out their full flavors. (Think of the phrase “to mull over” something, when you ponder or ruminate.)

Mulling spices generally include cinnamon, clove, ginger, and allspice, and may also include more exotic flavors like star anise, orange, pepper, or cardamom.

How do I mull cider or wine? 

Simply pick out your spices or your mulling spice blend of choice. Add them with your cider or red wine to a big ol’ pot and simmer on the stovetop for 20 minutes. You can also use a crockpot, which will take about 2 hours on low. You need about 1 tablespoon of spices per quart of cider or bottle of wine. 4 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup) makes 1 gallon. Ideally, use a mulling ball infuser or other enclosed infuser so the spices are contained. They will expand as they steep so it needs to be large enough to hold the spices. You can also let them simmer unconstrained and strain out the spices as you serve the hot beverage.

Lastly, don’t forget the garnish! Some delightfully seasonal garnishes include orange slices, cinnamon sticks, thyme sprigs and/or cranberries. 

The name Wassail, if you are curious, comes from an old pagan custom, which you may know from this traditional yuletide song:

Here we come a-Wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wandering,
So fairly to be seen.
Here we come a wandering
So fairly to be seen.
Love and joy come to you!
And to you a Wassail too!
God bless you and send you
A Happy New Year
God send you a Happy New Year!