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Tart Cherry Mulled “Wine” (2 Ways!)

Hand holding a mug of tart cherry mulled "wine"

Today we’re bringing you our new favorite holiday drink! This tart cherry mulled “wine” was inspired by traditional, oh-so-delicious mulled wine that usually brings red wine and spices together in a warm, comforting drink. We swapped the wine for tart cherry juice and were blown away by the result (and the health perks)! 

It’s a delicious, non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine, but you can also add whiskey or rum if you’re after a boozy twist. It looks like the real thing, is perfect for the holidays, and will make your kitchen smell AMAZING. Just 5 ingredients, 1 pot, and 20 minutes required! Let us show you how it’s done!

Cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, orange peel, orange juice, tart cherry juice, and whiskey

Tart Cherry Juice Benefits

The natural deep red color of tart cherry juice is a sign that it’s rich in antioxidants. Specifically, tart cherries are rich in polyphenols and have even more antioxidants than red wine or dark chocolate (which are both known for being rich in antioxidants!).

Some small human studies show tart cherry juice may have the following health benefits: 1) improvement in sleep quality and quantity, and increased melatonin (source), 2) aiding in recovery after intense exercise (source), and 3) reducing blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (source). It’s also rich in potassium!

Where to Buy Tart Cherry Juice

You can find tart cherry juice at nearly any grocery store these days. Health food stores (like Natural Grocers and Whole Foods) almost always have it, but even mainstream stores carry tart cherry juice. If you’re having trouble finding it at a mainstream grocery store, try checking the health food aisle.

How to Make Tart Cherry Mulled “Wine”

Similar to mulled wine, we make this tart cherry version by simmering orange peel and whole spices (cinnamon, cloves, and star anise) in the liquid to infuse it with flavor.

Pouring orange juice into a pot of tart cherry juice and spices

We also include orange juice for its natural sweetness, which beautifully complements the tart cherry juice.

Straining mulled tart cherry juice through a fine mesh strainer

After simmering for 15-20 minutes, we can promise a few things:

  • The spices will infuse into the tart cherry juice
  • The only thing left to do is strain and enjoy!
  • Everyone will love it (even your boozy friends, who can add whiskey or spiced rum at the end).
  • Your kitchen will smell amazing!
Star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks floating on mugs of tart cherry mulled "wine"

We hope you LOVE this non-alcoholic mulled “wine”! It’s:

Sweet & spicy
Perfect for the holidays
& SO delicious!

It’s a festive and delectable drink that’s sure to warm you up from the inside out. If you’re feeling snack-y, try it paired with our Candied Spiced Nuts (1 Pan!), Cheesy Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Dip, or 5-Ingredient Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Snowballs. It would also pair well with our 1-Hour Vegan Pot Pies for a cozy winter meal.

More Cozy Antioxidant-Rich Beverages

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot of mugs of non-alcoholic tart cherry mulled "wine"

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Servings 3 (Cups)

Course Beverage

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly No

Does it keep? 1 Week

  • 1 quart tart cherry juice (we used RW Knudsen brand // NOT tart cherry concentrate)
  • 2 Tbsp orange peel (from ~1/2 orange // orange part only — the white pith will add bitterness)
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from ~1 orange)
  • 3 oz whiskey or spiced rum (optional // 1 oz per serving)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Orange rounds
  • Extra cinnamon sticks or whole spices
  • To a large saucepan, add tart cherry juice, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and orange juice.

  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to medium-low and cook for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and stir in whiskey or spiced rum (if using). Serve warm.

  • Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in a saucepan or the microwave until warm. Not freezer friendly.

*Loosely adapted from the Mulled Wine by the lovely Gimme Some Oven.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without rum or whiskey.

Serving: 1 cup Calories: 175 Carbohydrates: 43.1 g Protein: 1.5 g Fat: 0.1 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 25 mg Potassium: 557 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 31.5 g Vitamin A: 61 IU Vitamin C: 15.8 mg Calcium: 43 mg Iron: 1.9 mg

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