Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy

Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy
A better Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy for your holiday season!

You all know we love our wine around here, but mulled wine has been one of those thing we just never really enjoyed. We tried many versions that others made and never really saw the point of hot wine with spices. So we knew we needed to mess around with some recipes to get a version that is not just delicious, but is actually something we would love to have around to drink during the holidays! And after some testing this recipe for Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy is an absolute delight! It needs to go in your holiday cocktail lineup this season!

What is the best wine to use when making mulled wine?

The best red wine to use for mulled wine is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Grenache. These wines are dark, fruity and full bodied, which means they can support all the flavors we’ll be adding. But generally you want to use a wine that you would drink alone, as well. Just like in cooking, if it is not drinkable to you before making mulled wine, it won’t make an amazing transformation, so use something you like!

We used a California Cabernet Sauvignon in our version that was in the $10-$15 range from the grocery store.

Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy
We use a variety of mulling spices to create levels of flavor in our version of Mulled Wine!

What’s in this version of Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy?

Besides the obvious base of wine in this recipe, we add amaretto and brandy. Brandy is quite common to add to Mulled Wine to make it a bit more boozy, but the amaretto adds a nice and subtle almond flavor in the background to give this wine another level of flavor.

The juice of two oranges is added for some citrus notes and a bit of sweetness. We also add brown sugar, but this can be option if you want your mulled wine to be a bit less sweet. We feel, though, that the brown sugar isn’t overly sweet in this version and complements the deep flavors of the wine.

For the spices, we use cinnamon sticks, star anise, green cardamom pods, allspice berries and whole cloves. We highly recommend trying all these spices listed here in the recipe, but if you can’t get your hands on some of these, it won’t be the end of the world.

Top Tip 

Sweet Dehydrated Orange Slices
Winter Sweet Dehydrated Orange Slices

Use whole spices – NOT GROUND. Not only do whole spices look pretty in the pot, but they also allow the flavors of the spices to infuse the wine without changing the consistency. The last thing you want is a mouthful of ground spices when drinking a tasty mulled wine.

Winter Sweet, Dehydrated Orange Slices

For the garnish, we use sweet, dehydrated orange slices, a cinnamon stick, and star anise. But don’t worry, you don’t need a fancy machine to make beautiful dehydrated orange slices!

Dehydrating Oranges without a fancy machine. 

We love dehydrating oranges for garnishes for cocktails, but nothing beats our twist on these sweetened dried orange slices. This recipe is super easy and all you need is your oven. Even better, they will last around 2 years! We like to make a big batch of these and garnish whatever we want throughout the holiday season.  

Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy
Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy


We hope you enjoy this holiday delight of Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Looking for more holiday recipes? Check these out!

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Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Angela, Mark and Vanessa Course: CocktailsCuisine: EuropeanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy
  • 1 bottle 1 wine

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 amaretto

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 brandy

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla bean paste (or extract)

  • 2 Large 2 navel oranges

  • 3 3 Cinnamon sticks

  • 5 5 Star anise

  • 5 5 green cardamom pods

  • 10 10 allspice berries

  • 10 10 Whole cloves

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 Brown sugar (optional)

  • Winter Sweet Dehydrated Orange Slices Garnish (make in advance)
  • 2 small 2 blood oranges, thinly sliced

  • 2 small 2 navel oranges, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (64g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 ground cinnamon

  • pinch ground ginger

  • dash sea salt optional


  • Mulled Wine with Amaretto and Brandy
  • Place all ingredients apart from the oranges into a medium size saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture until the brown sugar has mostly dissolved.
  • Using a peeler, peel half of one orange. Avoid peeling as much as the pith as possible as it is very bitter.
  • Juice the oranges and add to the pot along with the orange peel.
  • Warm the mixture until just starting to steam, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for around 30 mins.
  • Use a ladle to serve avoiding the spices and peel (or use a small strainer). Garnish with a dehydrated orange, star anise and cinnamon sticks.
  • Winter Sweet Dehydrated Orange Slices Garnish (make in advance)**
  • Preheat oven to 200°F
  • Wash and dry oranges, then cut into very thin slices (as thin as possible). Lay them flat on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix your spices and sugar.
  • Sprinkle evenly over orange slices.
  • Dry in the oven at 200°F for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. If your orange slices are thick, they will take longer.
  • After removing them from the oven, add more spices and/or sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight bag or container.

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