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Apple Mulled Wine

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Learn how to make German apple mulled wine with mulled wine spices at home. This mulled white wine is quick and easy to make and the perfect drink for holiday parties and the holiday season.Jump to Recipe

two glasses of apple mulled wine

Get cozy with German Apple Mulled Wine

Is it getting colder outside where you live? NICE, I bet you’re in the mood for apple mulled wine.

In Germany, the most wonderful thing about the cozy weeks leading up to Christmas are the meet-ups at Christmas markets to have a glass of mulled wine and get the scoop on the local gossip.

Or getting cozy at home with a colorful cookie plate with coconut macaroons and German gingerbread cookies and a cup of mulled warm wine.

In addition to the classic German mulled red wine which is made with fruity red wine, orange slices, and whole spices, I have experimented with lighter spiced wine varieties and this apple mulled wine is my current favorite among all white mulled wine recipes.

a glass of apple mulled wine with sliced apples, star anise and cinnamon

Apple Mulled Wine – a lighter Mulled White Wine Recipe for the Holiday Season

For making this German mulled wine recipe, semi-sweet white wine is heated with apple juice, cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, cloves, and some orange peel.

Some pure maple syrup is added for sweetness depending on your personal preferences. Served with orange slices and apple slices, this is the perfect drink for the holiday season.

The taste of cinnamon, the scent of cloves, vanilla, and fresh orange peel – that just makes me SO happy around this time of year. 

What I love about making this mulled white wine recipe for gatherings and holiday parties, is that even friends who are not wine drinkers love it. It’s very pleasant and light to drink and has very little acidity.

Less sugar, less headache

I love mulled wine but the store-bought one is often way too sweet. As you can imagine, there is a lot of sugar added.

Good mulled wine doesn’t have to contain a lot of sugar at all. In fact, we make my apple mulled wine from a mixture of apple juice, white wine, and whole spices.

Depending on the sweetness of the wine you went with the natural fructose contained in the fruit juice is usually sufficient to sweeten the mulled apple wine.

Depending on how sweet you like your alcoholic beverages, you can add some maple syrup. Of course, brown sugar and honey work too, but I think maple syrup is the most delicious here.

a glass with apple mulled white wine with apple slices, star anise and cinnamon sticks

The taste of the apple mulled wine is sweet-sour-tart and refreshing at the same time thanks to the combination of apple juice and white wine. Whole Christmas spices such as cinnamon, and star anise give the mulled wine its typical Christmas taste.

Which kind of wine do you use for mulled wine?

Fruity grape varieties work best for white and red mulled wine along with the Christmas spices and the citrus extracts from the orange peel.

For homemade mulled white wine you should use white wine that does not contain too much acid. For this apple cinnamon mulled wine I recommend a fruity, medium-sweet wine.

Especially if you’re not a wine drinker, a Moscato, riesling, or chardonnay would be perfect. 

As always:

The better the wine, the better the mulled wine. Of course, it doesn’t have to be an extra expensive wine for over 25 bucks, but it should offer more quality than the cheapest bottle at the liquor store.

The more sugar your wine has, the less the apple mulled wine needs to be sweetened. As always, tasting is essential.

two glasses of German mulled white wine with apple slices

Which whole spices and flavors go best with white mulled wine

  • Cinnamon – the most popular Christmas spice. The cinnamon stick releases its aroma best when cooking for a bit longer. Therefore, it should always be added to the wine right from the beginning. Later it can be added to the glass and used to stir.
  • Star anise gives the homemade mulled wine a sweet and spicy licorice aroma.
  • Cloves are a bit spicy and at the same time have a slightly sweet note. A great addition. But if you don’t have it, just use anise. 
  • Orange peel: enhances the fruity citrus notes in the white wine, lending the white mulled wine the perfect balance of light and fruity. If possible use an organic orange
  • vanilla plays really nice with white wine and rounds out the sweet citrus notes from the orange 

How to make German Apple Mulled Wine

Place the white wine, vanilla seeds and pod, apple juice, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup. Pour into two glasses.

If you like your mulled wine a little sweeter, simply add a little maple syrup or honey (1-2 tablespoons) until the right sweetness is reached!

Serve with apple or orange slices, some cubes of brown sugar, should someone want to add more sweetness and a cinnamon stick for stirring.

How do you heat up apple mulled wine?

Mulled wine should never boil, otherwise, the alcohol will evaporate. You should heat mulled wine on low heat to around 75°C and then let it stand for about an hour so that the spices can continue to flavor the wine.


Mulled wine will keep for up to 1 month. The best way to store it is to pour it into a sealable container, pop on the lid, and keep it in the fridge. Or pour it into a jug, cover the top securely in plastic wrap and store the fridge.

Before storing, remove all the whole spices and fruit if you added some. Reheat on the stove before serving.

More German Christmas Recipes:

Mulled wine jam

Best German Christmas Cookies Recipes

Linzer cookies

Spritz Cookies with jam 

Did you make and love this Apple Mulled Wine recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

ein Glas Apfel Glühwein mit Zimtstangen und Sternanis dekoriert
5 from 1 vote

Apple Mulled Wine

Learn how to make German apple mulled wine with mulled wine spices at home. This spiced wine is quick and easy to make and the perfect drink for holiday parties and the holiday season

Course drink
Cuisine German
Keyword apple mulled wine, German mulled wine jam
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 210 kcal


  • 400 ml white wine 1 2/3 cups
  • 250 ml apple juice 1 1/4 cups
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1-2 whole cloves
  • zest from 1/2 unwaxed orange cut into wide strips. Be careful not to cut off too much of the white flesh
  • 2 tablespoons grade A maple syrup or brown sugar or honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean + scraped out seeds + the pod or 1 use tablespoon vanilla paste


  1. Slice the vanilla bean open and scratch the vanilla seeds out of the vanilla pod. In a pot heat the white wine, apple juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and orange zest as well as the vanilla bean paste and the craped out bean pod in a saucepan and heat until the wine is almost boiling.

  2. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Don't let it boil.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup. Pour into two heatproof glasses (all solid ingredients remain in the pot).
  4. Serve with apple or orange slices, some cubes of brown sugar, should someone want to add more sweetness, and a cinnamon stick for stirring.

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