Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

This recipe, my friends, comes with a warning.

CONSUME WITH CAUTION.

There is something oh-so very drinkable – and almost weirdly addicting – about this Crock Pot mulled wine. I don’t know if it’s the tart/sweet combo, the cinnamon, the cloves, the wine, the brandy, its ability to warm you from the inside out, the magic of the season, all of it together, or what, but it is very easy to drink.

Slow Cooker Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine | Kitchen Treaty

Possibly too easy to drink.

Contrary to how I may have represented myself here, I really am not that much of a drinker. I like cocktails and wine (okay, and beer too) but most often, I stop at one – or half of one. Usually because, depending on the alcohol content, it’s put me half to sleep. Because I’m usually kind of lame. (Occasionally – like, once every couple of years – I will power through and keep drinking and then … well, hoo boy. And oy.)

But this drink, for some reason, compels me to keep sipping. And sipping. Others who have tried it have experienced the same thing. So: please, heed the warning.

Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

A slow cooker might be a host/hostess’s very best friend in the kitchen, especially during the holidays – and especially when you’re serving a warm, seasonal drink like mulled wine. A Crock Pot filled with an irresistible warm-spiced drink, a collection of mugs, a ladle – they take up a little big of room on the counter, and that’s it. So easy when entertaining.

A fruity wine like Merlot or even a Zinfandel or jammy Cabernet Sauvignon will work best in this Crock Pot mulled wine recipe. But nothing too sweet, please, which could easily take the cocktail from clink-worthy to cloying. If you’re not sure, just sure start off with less sugar, tasting and adding more until you’ve hit the right balance of (strangely addictive) tart/sweet.

Cheers!

Print Recipe

Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

Get toasty! Red wine simmers in the slow cooker along with orange, cinnamon, cranberries, and cloves. A couple of glugs of brandy add a nice little kick, too.

Yield: 6 sliders

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 750 ml bottle of Merlot or other fruity (but not [i]too[/i] sweet!) red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
  • 2 cups orange juice (I either like squeezing my own or buying a 100% pure fresh-squeezed brand like Odwalla)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 medium orange (I always use an organic orange for recipes like this because it will be soaking in the beverage, peel and all)
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Garnishes, if desired: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries threaded onto a cocktail pick

Directions:

  1. Add wine, orange juice, cranberries, and sugar to a 3-quart or larger Crock Pot. Stir to help sugar begin to dissolve.
  2. Wash orange thoroughly and stud the orange with the cloves - just stick the cloves directly into the peel, pointy end first. I like to poke it all over with a toothpick first to make holes for the cloves.
  3. Add the clove-studded orange and the cinnamon sticks to the wine.
  4. Cook on low for 2 - 3 hours, or until the berries are tender. You can cook it for an hour or two longer if you wish, but take care that it doesn't boil.
  5. Remove the orange and the cinnamon sticks, then VERY CAREFULLY pour the mulled wine through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heat-proof bowl. Using the back of the spoon, press on the cranberries to get all of the juices into the bowl. A berry or two may burst, so watch out!
  6. Return wine to the Crock Pot and stir in the brandy. Taste and add additional sugar until it's just sweet enough. I like it just past the pucker point; you may prefer a sweeter mulled wine.
  7. Ladle into mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick, an orange slice, and/or fresh cranberries pushed onto a cocktail stick, if desired.
  8. Keep your Crock Pot on the "warm" setting to keep the wine nice and hot. If your Crock Pot doesn't have a warm setting, try alternating between "low" and off.

A Crock Pot with a "warm" setting tends to work best for this recipe. Crock Pots do vary, but I've found if I keep it on low for more than three hours, it will boil - and you want to avoid boiling!

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9 Responses to “Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine”

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  2. dishing up the dirt posted on December 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    You have my attention!! This is the kind of cocktail we need to make to stay warm over here. Love the recipe!

    • Karen Troughton replied on December 16th, 2013 on 6:54 am

      I am SO HAPPY the weather has turned warmer! Of course, now comes the rain …

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  4. Nico posted on December 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I wish you didn’t have a summary of instructions as the first step in making the wine… I dumped the brandy in the crockpot with everything else because i thought that was the first step. Other than that, good recipe.

    • Karen Troughton replied on December 21st, 2013 on 1:57 pm

      Hi Nico, thank you so much for mentioning that. That first line was an error on my part; it shouldn’t have been there! Sorry about that! Thanks again.

  5. kitty posted on January 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I would substitute the sugar for honey, better for you and tastes better too.

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  7. Vebry posted on March 15, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    nice one there Michelle indeed our Abba Father sure does have taste. thats why i just lovoooooe Him. thank God 4 people like u

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