Easy to Make Mulled Wine Jelly Recipe. This wine jelly can be water bath canned for shelf storage or refrigerated.
This jelly is a lovely Christmas recipe and makes a great holiday gift, and to that end, printable tags are available for free download. It is perfect on your Holiday Charcuterie Board or tucked into your next grilled cheese sandwich. Serve it alongside your pork, turkey, or chicken, tuck it into crepes, or top a panna cotta for a festive holiday dessert.
I have been ‘mulling’ (see what I did there!?) this recipe for well over a year. This time last year, our kitchen was knee-deep in post-hurricane repair, so a day of canning just wasn’t in the cards. Then Spring came, and then Summer, and I just couldn’t bring myself to make ‘Mulled Wine Jelly’ while it was 90° outside. I find that I am a seasonal cook; I want what is going on in my kitchen to mirror what is going on outside.
So, when our first ‘fallish’ day rolled around recently, I found myself happily ensconced in my kitchen whipping up several jars of this Mulled Wine Jelly.
How Do You Use Wine Jelly?
My initial thought for how to use this wine jelly best was to give it as gifts. While I love baking and giving cookies over the holidays, this Mulled Wine Jelly and crackers is a nice alternative.
It is perfect on a Holiday Charcuterie Board. The jelly is very colorful and festive and perfect for your holiday table and entertaining guests.
After making and tasting it, I realized that this jelly is really quite versatile! If you want to take your grilled cheese sandwich to the next level, try a little dollop of this jelly with a couple of pieces of Brie (yes…I know…it really is decadent!).
And elevate your pork, chicken, or turkey with a side of jelly. In fact, a bowl of this mulled wine jelly will be sitting on our Thanksgiving table to be enjoyed with both turkey and rolls.
And then, there is the whole wine jelly dessert angle here! Imagine it topping a bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate and this jelly… or panna cotta. And what about tucked in a crepe, either for breakfast or dessert? Truly, the possibilities are endless!
Ingredients in Mulled Wine Jelly
- 7 cups (1.5 liters) red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon): Why Cabernet? It’s rich and full-bodied, which makes for a bold jelly. But if you’re a Merlot or Pinot Noir fan, go for it.
- Peel of 1 orange: Using the peel adds a subtle citrusy kick without turning your jelly into a mimosa. Just be sure to avoid the bitter white pith.
- 6-8 inches of cinnamon stick: Sticks impart a gentler flavor than ground cinnamon, and you won’t get that sandy texture ground cinnamon can sometimes leave.
- 1 Whole Nutmeg, crushed: Nutmeg has a warm, slightly sweet and nutty, maybe even a smidge spicy flavor.
- 8-10 Whole Cloves: They pack a punch, so 8-10 should be enough to add complexity without overpowering the jelly.
- 6 green cardamom pods (optional): It’s citrusy, but also has earthy and spicy undertones. Some even say it’s a little minty or herbal.
- OR 1/3 cup of Mulling Spice: If you’re pressed for time or just can’t be bothered to measure out individual spices, a premixed mulling spice is your BFF.
- Up to 1 cup of Brandy (as needed): It amps up the warm, boozy goodness of the mulled wine. But you can leave it out if you want to tone down the alcohol.
- White Sugar: Granulated sugar is standard here.
- Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin (For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes):This is the thickening agent that turns your spiced wine into jelly magic. Make sure to get the one specified for less or no sugar needed recipes.
Substituting and Reducing Sugar in Mulled Wine Jelly
Sugar is important for the gelling of your jelly, not so much for its safety. You can substitute caster sugar for regular sugar; however, because it is so much finer than granulated sugar, it will dissolve more quickly. You will want to stir the pot more frequently so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.
You shouldn’t reduce the amount of sugar given in the recipe as it is needed for getting to the gel state. As it is, we are using a Reduced Sugar Pectin.
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Giving These Jars of Jelly as Gifts
I used these hexagonal jars and lids from PaperMart. The hexagon jar shape and plastisol-lined gold lids just make my jelly gifts just that much more ‘fancy’. I labeled the jars and stashed them in my pantry for giving and enjoying over the next several months.
I will be happy to send you the PDF of these labels! Just click the button below or check out the Subscriber Benefits Library. Once I printed them on card stock, I used my 1 1/2 inch circle punch to cut them out. I like this gold bow wire as it holds the bow nicely and is easy to work with as well.
This Jelly + Jam Making Basics 101 article discusses Jam Making Basics, including the main ingredients of jams and jellies, their importance, and the basic equipment for making jams and jellies. Additionally, we discuss the differences between various jellied fruits and vegetables. It’s a great resource for new canners or anyone needing a refresh.
- 7 cups (1.5 liters) red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
- Peel of 1 orange
- 6-8 inches of cinnamon stick
- 1 whole nutmeg, crushed
- 8-10 cloves
- 6 green cardamom pods (optional)
- OR you could use 1/3 cup of mulling spice instead of the 5 previous ingredients.
- Up to 1 cup of Brandy (as needed)
- 3 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 pkg Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin (For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes)
- Prepare canner, jars, and lids. See The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.
- Place a saucer with 3 spoons in the freezer
- Peel orange, ensuring that you don't get the bitter pith.
- Crush nutmeg and cardamom (if using)
- Place mulling spices in a mulling spice ball or wrap in cheesecloth.
- Combine wine and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer at very low heat for 1 hour.
- Your wine will evaporate at around 170°, so keep the temperature low and the pot covered. Some will still evaporate, which is fine as we account for that.
- At the end of the hour, remove the spices and measure your wine. You need 6 cups, so add enough brandy to get you to the 6 cups.
- Add the reduced wine back to the pot. Do not place over any heat yet.
- Measure out 3 1/2 cups of sugar. Remove 1/4 of a cup of the measured out sugar and combine it with the pectin in a small bowl.
- Add the sugar/pectin mixture to the wine and bring mixture to a full rolling boil stirring constantly until the wine cannot be stirred down. Do not over boil.
- Stir in remaining sugar and return to full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute. Do not overboil.
- Using the spoons in your freezer, test for doneness at the 1-minute mark.
To Test For Doneness
- Put a small dollop of jam on one of your frozen teaspoons and return it back to the freezer for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom of the spoon is cool
- If when you push it with your finger it wrinkles a bit it is done.
To Water Bath Process
- Spoon your jam immediately into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace
- Remove air bubbles and wipe the rim with white vinegar
- Center lid on the jar
- Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
- Place jars in canner, making sure they are completely covered with water by 2". Add additional boiling water as needed to raise the water level.
- Cover canner and bring water to a gentle boil. Process for 5 minutes, adjusting time as necessary for elevation. (see notes)
- Remove jars and place upright on a rack to allow to cool completely.
- Refrigerate any jars that did not seal
This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. Please see the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.
1,000 to 3,000 feet add 5 minutes
3,001 to 6,000 feet add 10 minutes
6,001 to 8,000 feet add 15 minutes
8,001 to 10,000 feet add 20 minutes
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 84 Serving Size: 1/2 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g
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You can see all canning and preserving recipes here. This is my “go to” red wine jelly recipe. For a white wine jelly, check out this Jalapeño Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay Wine Jelly.
To refer back to how to make this Mulled Wine Jelly recipe in the future, bookmark this page or pin the following image.
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Enjoy your Mulled Wine Jelly!
Until next time…
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