Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //
Entertain, Gluten Free, Occasions, Vegetarian, Wine & Cocktails, Winter


I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of a cocktail — and today I’m in good company! Do you remember this past summer when I collaborated with a handful of my favourite food bloggers to create a patio-inspired drink? It was a blast and we figured it was about time to do it again! I’m elated to share my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine as part of our second Connecting Over Cocktails collab — this time with a cozy, seasonal flavour focus! If you’re looking for some fantastic cocktail ideas as we transition into the holiday season, we have some serious cocktail inspiration in store for you today. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for seven festive cocktail recipes from my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members. Cheers to creative collaboration and connecting over cocktails!

‘Tis the season for my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine — a sophisticated twist on a holiday classic! Luxurious flavours of pomegranate and vanilla mix and mingle with robust Zinfandel, clementines, honey, cloves, star anise and a touch of nutmeg to warm you from the inside out! This mulled wine is chock full of antioxidants and healing spices, because who doesn’t love a festive beverage with feel good health benefits? If you’re hosting a holiday celebration this season and looking for a crowd-pleasing beverage to serve, welcome guests with a warm mug of Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine. It’s the ultimate in cold weather comfort — like a cashmere sweater for your taste buds!


Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

Have you ever had mulled wine? To be totally honest with you, I’ve sipped on mulled wine occasionally over the years and been less than wowed by it. But this year, I received an overwhelming number of requests to create a mulled wine recipe — so I set out to make an extraordinary mulled wine for you! I’ve fallen deeply in love with this Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine — so much so that I’ve been recipe testing and tweaking almost every day this week (and then enjoying a little bit extra as I worked on this post to really get into the holiday spirit!). If you love a deep, comforting glass of red wine and warming, seasonal flavours, I guarantee you’ll love this recipe too. It’s intoxicating — both literately and figuratively!

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

Most of the time, my boyfriend is my first taste tester. I knew I was onto something when he came home from work at an ungodly hour earlier this week and I poured him a glass of my first batch as he curled up in front of the fireplace to unwind. Adam loves wine just as much as I do, but mulled wine was completely new to him. He said that it was “really nice” and that “it would be perfect for the holidays.” Those were my thoughts, exactly! But when he asked for another glass, I knew it was a keeper.

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

In researching this recipe, I learned that there are 2 types of mulled wine. One is non-alcoholic, as the alcohol evaporates in the mulling process. The other is alcoholic — and I’ll give you 2 guesses which one this is! My Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine is prepared in a way that all these wonderful seasonal flavours and spices infuse fully into the mixture — adding the Zinfandel last and just warming it through to ensure the alcohol content is preserved. Because of my love (obsession?) with sangria, I added a hit of Italian vanilla liquer to kick this mulled wine up a notch — after all, mulled wine really is just warm, spiced sangria, prepared differently! The Galliano Vanilla Liqueur I used in this recipe is a sweet herbal liqueur with a huge dose of smooth vanilla goodness. It also has subtle anise, citrus and woodsy undertones — it pairs perfectly with the seasonal flavour profile of this mulled wine.

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine Ingredients //

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

I love pomegranates at this time of year — and I’m a sucker for pomegranate-infused holiday beverages (case in point — last year’s Sparking Pomegranate Cranberry Sangria!). Mulled wine recipes are notorious for their similar ingredients (yawn!) so I knew I wanted to create something really unique. I infused my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine with luxurious flavours of, you guessed it — pomegranate and vanilla. Pomegranate brings a beautiful depth to this mulled wine, which is also infused with real vanilla beans and local honey. These softer flavours provide and an ultra smooth finish and comforting, mellow undertones. I’ve also included seasonal cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to gently kiss this mulled wine with spice. And last but not least, citrusy clementines round things out with their aromatic brightness, gorgeous hue and quintessential holiday flavour.

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //


Serves 12 – 16

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine Ingredients //

• 2 bottles Zinfandel (or fruity red wine of your choice)
• 1/2 cup Galliano Vanilla Liqueur
• 1 cup pomegranate arils (approximately 1 pomegranate)
• 4 clementines
• 1/2 cup honey (locally made Drizzle honey is my favourite!)
• 1 vanilla pod
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 clove of nutmeg (find them in the bulk section at your local health food store)
• 2 star anise

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine Ingredients //


Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

1. Start by deseeding your pomegranate — or pick up some ready-to-go arils from your local grocery store. Typically, one average sized pomegranate will yield 1 cup of seeds, however, a little more or a little less won’t hurt!

2. Add pomegranate arils to a large pot with honey, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Using a fine grater, grate your nutmeg clove appropriately 15 times over the pot, rotating the nutmeg as you go. Slice your vanilla pod down the centre lengthwise and add to the pot as well.

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

3. Using your fine grater, zest one clementine into the mixture. Juice the clementine into the pot when you’ve finished zesting it.

4. Set your burner to medium heat and allow the mixture to boil for 10 minutes to infuse the honey mixture with pomegranate, vanilla and spices.

5. After 10 minutes, pour the pot contents over a fine strainer. Retain the honey infused mixture, adding it back into the pot along with the cinnamon sticks.

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

6. Return the pot to a burner set to low heat. Add Zinfandel and juice from the remaining 3 clementines. Stir to combine and continue to warm your mulled wine over low heat for 5 minutes (whatever you do, don’t let it boil!).

7. Turn your burner off and add 1/2 cup of vanilla liquer to the mixture. Stir to combine.

8. Ladle your Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine into heat-proof serving glasses and complete each cocktail with a seasonal garnish. Some festive options include clementine slices (they float!), cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, star anise and pomegranate arils. Cheers!

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

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Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //


Looking for more seasonal cocktail inspiration? Check out these cozy cocktails from some of my favourite Canadian food bloggers! Not only are my foodie friends insanely talented — their passion, creativity and dedication to their craft is a constant inspiration to me. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community and count these beautiful people as friends — I hope you enjoy their blogs (and their work) just as much as I do! Be sure to swing by for a festive cocktail this holiday season and tell them I sent you!

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

Cassie at Crumb Kitchen’s Sinful Boozy Orange Hot Chocolate

Dana at Killing Thyme’s Caramel Apple Sangria

Jared at The Hesitant Chef’s Foamy Blanket Cocktail (Rum Nog Sour)

Jen at Mud on Her Boots‘s Winter Spice Maple Infused Hot Toddy 

Kristy at SheEatss Cozy Maple Whiskey Sour (Her first cookbook, Cooking with Cocktails is now available! Big congrats, lady.)

Sean at Diversivore’s Night Heron

Taylor at The Girl on Bloor’s Champagne Pomegranate Spritzers

P.S. – You can index our recipes via social media with the hashtag #FBCconnectingovercocktails, if that’s your preferred method of browsing!

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //


Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria

Sparkling Pomegranate Cranberry Sangria

Red Wine Caesars

Rosé Lychee Elderflower Sangria

White Citrus Sangria 

Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine //

What’s your favourite holiday cocktail? I’m eager to play around with other mulled beverages this season and family also has a delicious egg nog recipe that I’ve been dying to give a dairy free spin! As always, if you try my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine (or any of the other cocktails in this roundup) leave me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook! Use the hashtag #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations on social media so I can find them — I love it when you guys tag me so I can see what you make! Cheers, my friends.

This recipe was featured in Redbook‘s 11 Fall Drinks that will Warm You Right Up and Country Living‘s 25 Easy Mulled Wine Recipes to Warm You Up This Fall roundups.

Disclaimer: Thank you to HomeSense for this gorgeous crystal decanter and wine opener — they make an appearance in an upcoming New Years Eve entertaining post I can’t wait to share with you next month! This post is not sponsored, and contains my genuine thoughts, ideas and recommendations. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that support!

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  • Reply Dylan Cutler November 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I think I just fell in love. Killing it, girl! By the way, what grey backgrounds are you using here in your photos? And where can I get them?!

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Dylan, you are such a sweetie! Thank you so much for stopping by for a glass of virtual mulled wine. 🙂 Believe it or not, most of my backgrounds are just a piece of coloured foamcore. It’s super inexpensive and available in a plethora of colours — I picked this one up a Michaels for less than $10. And the barn board is actually real bard board foraged from a 100 year old abandoned farm just down the gravel road from my childhood home in rural Alberta. Cheers, girl!

  • Reply Nicoletta sugarlovespices November 25, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    You infused gorgeous flavors in this mulled wine, Justine, just as gorgeous as the pictures! We hardly create or have any drinks at home, so having talented fellow bloggers doing it for us is awesome. Thanks!

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Nicoletta! Glad you could enjoy a virtual cozy cocktail with us. 🙂 Cheers — I’m off to check out your salmon recipe!

  • Reply Annika November 25, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Wow! I love everything about this post… the colours and textures you have put together for the presentation, the perfect melange of ingredients and of course the final result comes together as a perfect cocktail!

    • Reply Justine November 25, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Hey Annika — thanks so much! I’ve been obsessed with velvet lately and thought it only made sense to include some velvety textures in this mulled wine. I’m so happy you found me! Cheers and have a great weekend!

  • Reply Jen November 26, 2016 at 7:12 am

    This! All of this! It’s so lux, I feel like I’d need to get a manicure just to drink it! 🙂 So beautiful, Justine!

    • Reply Justine November 26, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Thanks so much, Jen! I love to experiment around here and theme my content around certain colour palettes or feelings monthly — this is a little sneak peek at what December will look like — sophisticated, dramatic and luxurious. Although, these ingredients are relatively inexpensive and it if makes you feel better, I concocted this recipe and shot these photos with one very chipped mani! Cheers, it was a pleasure collaborating with you!

  • Reply Teresa November 26, 2016 at 11:40 am

    You’ve made an ancient holiday recipe feel very contemporary! And your styling is gorgeous.

    • Reply Justine November 26, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Thanks so much, Teresa! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Cheers, my friend!

  • Reply Sean November 26, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Justine, you did EVERYTHING right here. As usual, your presentation is out-of-this-world-beautiful. But I really want to say how much I appreciate what you did with the drink and the flavours. Mulled wine isn’t generally something that I get excited about either, and you’re totally right when you say that there’s a fair bit of yawn-inducing repetition out there in the world. I completely appreciate that you took a unique approach here. Pomegranate and vanilla are fantastic, and I really like that the vanilla liqueur has so many herbal notes at play there. I’m a big fan of complexity in my drinks, and I really think you nailed that. Fantastic work.

    • Reply Justine November 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks as always for the thoughtful comment Sean, that’s so kind of you to say! Although you can’t taste my creations through the screen, I put as much careful consideration into each one of my recipes as I do the styling and photography. 🙂 As always, it was a blast collabing with you! Cheers, my friend.

  • Reply Dana November 28, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Once again, a magazine spread-worthy post. These photos are unreal! I was actually showing them off to my friends over the weekend, haha. You fuel me with cocktail styling inspo. I already can’t wait until the next collab — I’ve started making notes and will be grabbing props in the new year. EXCITE.

    It was great to collab with you again! *holds up glass* To many, many more!

    • Reply Justine November 28, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Thank you, Dana! You’re making me blush. 🙂 Funny you should mention props — as I mentioned, these are leftover props from an NYE entertaining post I worked on earlier this month. Typically I tend to grab things as I need them — once I have a specific vision for a recipe and how I want it to look, I go hunting! I have a very extensive prop library now though from styling work and blog posts — if we lived in the same city we could do a prop swap! 😉 Thanks for always cheering me on, I can’t wait for our next Connecting Over Cocktails installment! Cheers!

  • Reply Becky Kung November 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try mulled wine and your recipe sounds delightful Justine! Love this!

    • Reply Justine November 28, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks so much, Becky! It’s perfect for the holidays — if you do give it a try I’d love your feedback on the recipe. Cheers, girl!

  • Reply kristy November 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Duuuuuuuuuuuude it never fails to amaze me how beautiful your photos are. You really do create professional level articles and I love love love seeing what you come up with. Like this mulled wine. The twist in the flavours is so clever and I wish we could just share a glass right now!

    PS. I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of a cocktail ALL THE TIME 😉 xo! So happy to collaborate with you miss.

    • Reply Justine November 30, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Thank you, Kristy! That means a lot coming from the Queen of Cocktails! It’s always so much fun collabing with you and I look forward to drinking (and eating) my way through your book. Cheers, lady!

  • Reply Cassie | Crumb Kitchen November 30, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Ohhhh my gosh. Your photos really blew me away this time, Justine! Everything about the colours and mood are so perfect: a cozy but fabulous night in drinking Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine (yum!). My one experience with mulled wine was at a house party in university and while it was good, I bet your is much more refined! 😉

    • Reply Justine November 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

      You’re too sweet — thank you, Cassie! I loved your dreamy photos (and recipe!) this time around too. If you try my mulled wine I’d love your feedback. Cheers to many more Connecting Over Cocktails collabs!

  • Reply Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs December 1, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Absolutely gorgeous, Justine! These pictures just glow. I’m not a wine drinker (my favourite winter drink is apple cider) but I shared this recipe with my mom and sister, who loved it!

    • Reply Justine December 1, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for sending that feedback — I’m so happy they loved it! I enjoyed a batch with my girlfriends last and it was a hit, too. I see many glasses of mulled wine in my holiday future this year, haha!

      Are you settled in Germany now? I hope you’re doing well. Cheers, Alexandra!

  • Reply Julia December 1, 2016 at 11:05 am

    First of all, I can’t get over just how beautiful this looks! Just stunning, gorgeous, lustful and many other words. Every single year without fail, my husband makes mulled wine for our annual Christmas party at the house. It is his contribution to the evening as I do all the food…ha! He makes it outside on the camping stove (we live in southern Spain, so he isn’t freezing out there!), and he serves it as the guests arrive. It really is a lovely tradition, and everyone seems to really enjoy the mulled wine. That all being said, this looks ten thousand times more inviting than ours served out of a large stainless steel ancient boiler!!:)
    Beautiful work as always!

    • Reply Justine December 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Julia, thank you so much for the comment and sharing your mulled wine memories! I don’t know… a glass of mulled wine served out of an antique stainless steel boiler in southern Spain sounds pretty fantastic to me! I definitely think this mulled wine will become a tradition of ours and I can’t wait to enjoy it with family and friends this season. If you guys do end up trying the recipe (or are willing to share yours!) I’d love your feedback. Cheers from afar and Happy Holidays!

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