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Orange Vanilla Mulled Wine

Yield: serves 4

Author Maryanne Cabrera


  • 4 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1-750 mL bottle red wine, merlot
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup honey whiskey
  • 1/4 cup Tuaca (Italian brandy flavored with citrus and vanilla)


  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pot (preferably a Dutch oven), heat cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods, and cloves over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir often to ensure spices do not burn.

  2. Reduce heat to low and pour in red wine. Add vanilla bean, orange peel, orange slices, and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and allow sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat. Cover pot and allow spices to steep for 15 minutes. 

  3. Strain out spices, orange, and peel. Add honey whiskey and Tuaca. Stir to combine. Back mixture back to a simmer. Serve warm and garnish with orange slices, cinnamon stick, and star anise.

Recipe Notes

  • I used Blackstone Merlot for this recipe. I usually stock up on this wine during the holidays because it's very affordable, great for mulled wines and sangrias, and available at Costco.
  • There are numerous choices for honey whiskey. I used Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey.