Hot Mulled Wine is a favorite cocktail sipper in the winter months. The warm spiced wine takes the edge of the chilliest of days. This version is made in the Instant Pot in a flash!
It only cooks for 1 minute (literally) in the Instant Pot to blend the flavors and heat it up!
What is Mulled Wine or Gluhwein? Are they the same thing?
‘Gluhwein’ translated from German means ‘glow wine’. It’s a popular spiced wine served warm or hot at Christmas markets in Germany or Austria.
In English it’s referred to as ‘mulled wine’ meaning it has been cooked with spices.
It’s a popular warm drink at Christmas time in many countries.
For a different type try Glogg, a Scandinavian mulled wine which includes blanched almonds.
Why Make Instant Pot Mulled Wine?
- It only needs to cook for 1 minute
- It keeps the stove top free for other cooking
- Making it in a pressure cooker blends the flavors of the wine, brandy, spices and fruit in a perfect way!
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Some recipes include apple juice or orange juice but we prefer to stick to a more traditional recipe. Wine, brandy, fruit and spices create a delicious drink!
Bottle of dry red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot are very popular for this recipe. Our choice is a Cabernet. The slighty sweetness blends beautifully with the spices.
Apple Brandy. Either apple brandy or regular brandy can be used. It fortifies the drink flavor.
Apple. Select a small and sweet apple (Honeycrisps are our favorite). It will cook with the wine. Sliced thinly. Don’t peel it.
Orange. Either use an orange or two clementines, both work great. Sliced thinly.
Cinnamon Sticks. You’ll use two cinnamon sticks.
Star Anise. Two star anise will cook with the wine.
Whole Cloves. Only three whole cloves are needed. Stick them into the peel of one of the orange slices to make it easy to remove them at the end!
Light brown sugar. A bit of brown sugar sweetens the wine just a bit. If you prefer a sweeter mulled wine you can add more.
What is the best wine for Mulled Wine?
A dry (versus sweet) red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz or Pinto Noir would be be delicious.
Because you’ll be cooking it with spices you don’t need a completely high end bottle.
Select something mid-range price wise that has robust flavors and you’ll have a great batch of gluhwein!
What are typical spices used in Mulled Wine?
- cinnamon sticks
- dried orange peel
Other blends will include star anise, ginger, black peppercorns even cardamom pods.
We love the flavor combination in this recipe of using cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves along with fresh unpeeled orange and apple.
But you can change up the spices to find the perfect blend to go with the wine you’ll be using too!
How to Make it – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Add the ingredients to the Instant Pot.
Add the wine, brandy, fruit and spices (photos 1-2).
STEP 2. Cook the mulled wine.
Secure the Instant Pot lid and vent closed. Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 1 minute.
Once the cooking cycle is complete perform and QUICK RELEASE.
NOTE: ensure the Instant Pot is not near a stove in use or other heat source when doing the pressure release.
The steam will contain evaporated alcohol and could be flammable.
Photos 3 and 4 are after cooking.
STEP 3. Strain and Serve the Gluhwein.
Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the spices and fruit out of the mulled wine. Reserve some of the fruit for serving if desired.
Serve immediately with a fresh cinnamon stick, some of the cooked fruit slices or fresh orange slice.
Why Straining is Important
Following the cooking it’s important to promptly strain the wine. This is for two reasons:
- Leaving the spices in the wine over time will strengthen their flavor in a potentially unappealing way.
- Left on a warm temperature the fruit will begin to absorb the liquid. So you’ll have fat, plump wine-filled fruit but not as much wine to drink!
Allow the wine to cook and store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
How to Rewarm the Gluhwein
To rewarm the microwave or stove top can be used. Do not boil the wine because it will become bitter.
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