red wine or cider mulled with cacao & spices

Mulled red wine with spices and chocolate, viewed from above in a copper pot with a mug and brown linen cloth, by Vermont chocolatiers Tavernier Chocolates.

Warming and aromatic, mulled wine and cider make for a festive evening gathering or a snug sip by the fire. Add chocolate in the form of cacao nibs and you get a rich, cozy cup of amazingness. Cacao nibs add a tea-like chocolate flavor note that complements the spices and wine to make an ultra-luxurious treat.

Grab your cup and get your hygge on!

Mulled red wine with star anise and a cinnamon stick in a curvy white mug by Tavernier Chocolates


1 bottle red wine like cabernet, shiraz, pinot noir, or whatever you desire

or 1 quart fresh pressed apple cider

2 whole cinnamon sticks

3 whole star anise pods

4 allspice berries

4 cardamom pods

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1 large fresh orange peel, the white pith removed

raw wildflower honey or pure maple syrup to taste

1/4 cup brandy optional


Pour the wine or apple cider, and brandy if you are using it, into a medium sized sauce pan. Add the whole spices, orange peel and cacao nibs. Warm on medium heat until you see it start steaming, stirring occasionally. Turn to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes to steep the spices and cacao.

Taste after the spices have steeped, and add honey or maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until it has reached your desired sweetness.

To serve, ladle the warm spiced liquid into individual mugs, avoiding the floating spices (the cacao nibs should sink to the bottom of the pan).

Garnish with a twist of orange or an orange slice, if desired.