Mulling syrup

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 30 mins


Makes 2 x 400ml bottles
This spiced syrup works equally well for mulled wine or cider. Make a batch ahead of time for entertaining or make up a gift kit for Christmas

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal15
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
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  • 250g caster or granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges, halved



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 6 whole cloves



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 6 whole allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ nutmeg, freshly grated
  • small piece ginger, sliced



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…


  1. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan with 1 litre water and bring slowly to a simmer, making sure all the sugar has been completely dissolved. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 mins. Leave to cool, then strain through a very fine sieve.

  2. Sterilise your bottles by washing them in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then drying them in a warm oven. Meanwhile, rewarm the syrup until just hot, then pour into the bottles while still hot and seal.

  3. Before giving away, add labels with serving instructions: Heat 400ml syrup with 750ml red wine or cider and some slices of orange or apple. Syrup will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.

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Comments (40)

ladyruskin's picture

This was great and really easy to make, although the straining was a bit of a faff! I used demerara sugar per a previous comment and added some star anise into the mix. It was well received by all the recipients - we ended up making a dozen bottles as gifts!

ameynert's picture

Mine came out cloudy too, but with all the juice I got out of the oranges I'm not surprised. I added a couple of whole star anise and did the orange zest. I filtered with a doubled muslin in a fine sieve. Ikea sell some quite nice 1L bottles that hold a double batch perfectly (mine was a touch over 800mL) and are much cheaper than Lakeland.

rachaelyoung's picture

This was a really great way of preparing for christmas guests way ahead of time, super easy to just throw together with some red wine and heat! will certainly be on my list for next year

lodikay's picture

Although I haven't yet tried this in wine, the taste of the neat product is amazing! It was a breeze to do and made the house smell divine. As others have stated, not really a syrup, but calling it mulling water doesn't sound quite as appealing! I doubled up the recipe with no issue, but it took longer to reduce. I also zested one of the oranges and added that to the mix, as well as squeezing the juice out of them before straining. I used Demerara sugar to add colour and I used a fine sieve and two layers of muslin to strain the liquid. Although it doesn't quite have the clarity of the bottle in the picture, it looks very attractive. As an added bonus I removed the flesh from the cooked oranges (and ate most of it - yum!) then cut up the skins, coated them in sugar and dried them in a very low oven for a couple of hours to make candied peel!

bluefish7204's picture

Made this for the first time this Christmas and will definitely be making it again. Like others have said before me, it's not a syrup...more like flavoured water, but I'll never buy shop bought again. Agree that squeezing the oranges in is a good idea. Decanted into 400ml bottles and used one bottle per one bottle of cheaper red wine - bliss.

sarahsutton's picture

Made some bottles of this for Christmas gifts, really easy and tasty. Had 1 bottle left and added some of it to a chopped apple and dried fruit, stewed it up and served it as a winter spiced fruit compote with thick yoghurt, worked really well.

juliemcgarvey's picture

Never made mulled wine before! This was simple and extremely delicious and smelled amazing! Didn't look like photo but as presents, it was still prefect! Recipe for me made 2 bottles of 400 ml!

highwaycrossingfrog's picture

Firstly, this is not a syrup! I simmered at a high level and ended up with about 400 ml of flavoured water. Being concerned that the wine would be too diluted I further reduced to about 200 ml to intensify the flavour, which produced a slightly sticky liquid that could loosely be termed syrup. I squeezed the oranges before straining as some have suggested and also added the orange zest at the start. It does look very much like the picture and I'm fairly pleased with the taste but have yet to mix it with wine.

zsuzsibuvar's picture

I will serve this in my son's school's Christmas concert and of course had to try beforehand, oh boy! The PSA will do a lot of money this year :)))

lizleicester's picture

Used a couple of large pinches of ground allspice in the absence of whole berries. Made it after work and so left it overnight to cool and infuse and although not very syrupy, the flavour is lovely and I've re-cycled a selection of smallish bottles and made them look Christmassy!

lsudaw's picture

Made exactly 800mls per batch with a 20ml simmer :). I'm gifting them in 330ml glass bottles I found in eBay as I've found that works well for a full bottle of wine. I agree the colour was a bit light so I suggest using Demerara sugar as it gives a much fuller colour. Note it is fine to still use 250g of Demerara sugar. I looked into using pomegranate molasses instead of some of the sugar but it is very sweet and difficult to balance colour and flavour.

The basic recipe does end up quite watery but ends up with a lovey mulled wine (and goes a bit further for it).

Thanks gf for a lovely recipe, great for Christmas gifts - nearly everyone will be getting some from me this year. :)

clairelumley1981's picture

Made this last week. So easy to make. I also got a very runny liquid rather than a syrup. Not sure if I had the heat to low while simmering! However it still tastes outstanding. As recommended I also squeeze the remaining oranges. Delicious :)

AnnaBanya's picture

I absolutely LOVE this syrup. So easy, keeps forever and can be used for so many things as well as mulling - hot over ice cream for example! I'm adding it to some infused vodka this year to make festive liqueur.

AnnaBanya's picture

I absolutely LOVE this syrup. So easy, keeps forever and can be used for so many things as well as mulling - hot over ice cream for example! I'm adding it to some infused vodka this year to make festive liqueur.

kgentle's picture

It made the best mulled wine i have had and I've tried a lot of the ones the market has to offer. The syrup doesn't look like the picture but i did not care. For extra flavor i left everything in the saucepan while it cooled and then I drained it a few hour later and found the taste was even better!

mrshollands's picture

Brilliant! Have made several batches of this for presents over Christmas and had rave reviews back for all!!

hjmalpas's picture

500 ml bottles:
I made the spiced orange and beetroot chutney and the pickled pears then soaked the labels off the bottles of red/cider vinegar that I used so I could fill them with mulling syrup. I too squeezed the oranges before bottling and topped up with apple juice to fill bottles - could easily add other booze instead. Great batch of Christmas gifts ready to go.

claire855's picture

Made a large batch for all the family - whole house smelled very Christmassy! Didn't really look like the photo but still looked lovely in the bottles with ribbon and label on. Managed to get bottles from Lakeland (but since heard Ikea have them cheaper) and got hard-to-come-by spices from - far cheaper than high street shops. Gifts were much admired & well-received by all - will definitely do it every year!!

katteh's picture

I got my whole allspice from waitrose after searching loads of shops.

leanne82duke's picture

made this up one part syrup (200ml) to two parts dry cider (400ml) and added a shot of brandy, it is lovely, im drinking as i am writing :)
i will never do shop bought again :)


Questions (2)

ldupuy's picture

After reading some comment complaining about the consistency & as per other syrup recipes (including on this site), I was wondering if doubling the amount of sugar (to balance the amount of liquid) would be a good idea?
Thanks for your help.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hello. After reading the comments we would stick with Lulu's recipe, as overall there are no complaints about the taste of it. We think you will make the mulled wine too sweet by adding more sugar. Also several people said they squeezed their oranges into the syrup which will add more flavour, but thin the consistency. Hope this helps.

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