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(Image courtesy of Queen Bee Mixology)

Cocktail of the Week: Gluhwein-Mulled Wine

Sure, a glass of wine or a beer is a nice way to unwind – but every now and then you deserve a happy hour that’s a little more...hmmm. What’s the word? Refined! Kelly Sparks of Queen Bee Mixology is graciously sharing a new cocktail with us every week, just in time for Happy Hour. Queen Bee is raising the bar for cocktails made at home with recipes that are both easy – and delicious! Want more? Connect with Queen Bee Mixology on social media for extra recipes and behind-the-scenes content.

It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays, and that means it's time to think about party drinks! What better crowd pleaser than a good mulled wine recipe? This warm cup of cheer is sure to make spirits bright this holiday season.


  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Merlot or other fruity (but not too sweet!) red wine
  • 2 cups pure fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 medium organic orange
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Garnishes: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries threaded onto a cocktail pick


  1. Add a bottle (750ml) of wine, 2 cups of orange juice, 1 cup of cranberries, and 1/3 cup of 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. You can 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 1-2 hours, or until the berries are tender. You can cook it for an hour or two longer if you wish, make sure 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.
  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.