Easy Mulled Wine | Gluhwein Recipe in Instant Pot

December 22, 2017 (Updated: April 2, 2020) By Aneesha |

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosures.

Gluhwein, or Mulled Wine, is a hot spiced wine drink that is prepared by heating red wine with sugar, orange and warming spices like cinnamon, cloves and star-anise. In this recipe I use the Instant Pot to make AND serve this fragrant and flavorful drink.

Mulled wine, or gluhwein, served in a glass cup, garnished with a cinnamon stick.

On a cold winter evening, there is nothing better than curling up in front of the fireplace with a warm cup of Mulled Wine!

I discovered Gluhwein or Gluwein, or Mulled Wine as its called in the US, when my husband and I used to hang out with his German colleagues in graduate school (#FunTimes).

It is a very traditional drink in the winters in Germany, particularly around Christmas.

A cup of gluhwein, mulled wine on a board with spices

Infusing the Wine with Citrus & Spices

For my mulled wine recipe, I use one medium orange with its peel and juice to add a slight citrus and tart flavor, and add whole spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anise.

Then, I add a bottle of dry red wine and let it steam and take on the flavors of the syrup.

This way the alcohol doesn’t burn off as much, and the wine gets infused with the wonderful flavors of citrus and spices.

Many recipes use apple cider, but I feel that changes the flavor too much for my taste.  But feel free to add that if you like.

Smart Tip: I pierce the cloves into the orange peels, so that its easy to pick them out later.

Alternatively, you can use a spice cloth/cheese cloth to keep the cloves & star anise together and easily fish them out before serving.

What Wine to use for the Gluhwein

Mulled wine / gluhwein is best made with the a full bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, but you can use any good dry red wine that you like.

Save your expensive reserved wines and use a relatively inexpensive wine for mulled wine, since its flavor gets modified completely.

I wouldn’t ever use ‘Cooking Wine’ in this, or any recipe for that matter.

A cup of Mulled wine made in the Instant Pot

Add an Extra Kick to the Mulled Wine

For an extra kick in the end, you can spike it with a shot of dark Rum, whiskey, bourbon, or Grand Marnier.  

This is totally optional, but, I personally prefer a small shot of Grand Marnier in my cup.  It boosts the orange flavor and gives this drink a great rich flavor.

Two Important Tips for Perfect Mulled Wine

Important Tip# 1: The key to making Mulled Wine is to not boil it.  Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water so you really have to watch the heat.

For that reason, I use boiling water to dissolve the sugar and infuse the spices in the beginning.   Then let it cool down to a warm temperature before adding the wine.

Important Tip #2: When you switch to the ‘Keep Warm’ mode, fish out the orange peels, star anise and cinnamon.

This prevents the wine from getting overpowered by these spices.   Also, sometimes the spices can cause a slight bitter after-taste if left in there too long.

Citrus and spice infused mulled red wine recipe for Instant Pot

Mulled Wine in Instant Pot – No Pressure Cooking

You can make this recipe on the stove-top too. But, you have to watch it like a hawk since you don’t want to overheat your wine.

I used an Instant Pot in its SAUTE mode to make the Mulled wine, and later switched it to ‘Keep warm’ mode, so that it stays warm for my guests throughout the party.

I do not recommend using pressure cooking feature for this recipe, since the high temperature will burn off all the alcohol.

I prefer using the Instant Pot for this recipe, simply because I can follow the recipe on the SAUTE setting without having to monitor it continuously.

AND, I can keep it warm without the stove being on, which is avoidable when I’m entertaining guests.

A pot of mulled wine simmering with citrus and spices

How to Double this Mulled Wine Recipe for Parties

It’s very easy to scale this instant pot mulled wine recipe.

Simply double-up the ingredients and follow the instructions. The boiling time for the sugar syrup may go up by a minute or two due to increase in quantity.

The rest of the time remains about the same.  Feel free to taste in between and adjust the flavors to your taste (Chef’s privileges;-)

More Drinks from my Kitchen

Popular Low Carb Cocktails on the Blog

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

Mulled wine, or gluhwein, served in a glass cup, garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Easy Mulled Wine | Gluhwein Recipe

On a cold night, a cup of warm mulled wine is soul warming.  Bold red wine is simmered and infused with citrus and warm spices, this is a perfect blend of spice & wine.
4.5 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 244kcal


  • 1/2 medium orange
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 10 Cloves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 750 ml red wine : 1 bottle of preferably cabernet sauvignon
  • 1.5 oz Rum or Grand Marnier: optional


  • Peel a medium size orange and save the peels. Pierce the cloves into one or more of the orange peels and set aside. Extract the juice from the orange and keep aside. Optionally, you can strain it to avoid any citrus fibers in the drink.
  • Turn the instant pot on Saute mode on HIGH. Add sugar and water in the Instant Pot. Bring water to a boil. Stir once to dissolve the sugar.
  • Reduce the Saute setting to LOW on the Instant Pot. Add orange juice, orange peels, cinnamon, star anise, and the orange peels with cloves in it. Simmer for 2 minutes
  • Add red wine and let it steam, not boil. Takes between 4-6 minutes, depending on the size of the pot. 
  • Hit Cancel and Turn on ‘Keep warm’ mode. This will keep the Mulled wine at a nice warm temperature for the evening.    Add the rum or grand marnier just before serving.

Stovetop Recipe

  • Just follow the same instructions with a saucepan.   Keep the heat on low to make sure that once the wine is added, it does not boil.  


Notes & Recipe Tips

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 8.7mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: Cocktails, drinks, holidays, warm drinks
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!


Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

Leave a Reply