Recipe: Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam

I pulled this recipe from a Serious Eats article that uses a version of this jam in a beautiful, festive looking cake and made some adjustments for my own use.  This jam is the ultimate level of festivity, combining two super classic holiday flavors (mulled wine and cranberry sauce) into one amazing jam.  I used this jam for my Linzer cookies this year (recipe coming soon!), and have been happily slathering the leftovers on toast, scooped up on cheese boards, and swirled into my morning yogurt.  Every time I eat it, I’m full of the holiday spirit, and thinking this recipe will have to be on repeat in years to come.

This recipe starts by making a mulled wine, which is essentially a sweetened and spiced wine that is reduced down to a slight syrup.  The house will smell truly amazing during this step, and it’s a great way to use up that bottle of red wine that’s been sitting in the fridge for a while.  After the mulled wine syrup is made, cranberries are added and simmered into the wine until they burst and the jam thickens.  I blended mine to give it a super smooth texture for the cookies before allowing it to cool, but honestly, this jam would be so good if left chunky as well (I would even consider this as a great cranberry sauce option if left on the chunkier side).  The jam set up nicely in the fridge, and was a perfectly festive addition to my holiday cookie box!

I’ll link the original Serious Eats recipe here for you to check out the original source, and my version of the recipe is written out below as well.  Just wanted to be sure to give credit where credit is due for the original inspiration for this recipe!

Recipe down below, along with photos!  This recipe makes a good amount of jam, but feel free to scale up if feeding a big crowd for the holidays!

Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam


  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (5 inch) piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 pod of star anise
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries


  1. Place red wine, sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, black peppercorns, star anise, and orange peel in a large saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that all of the sugar fully dissolves into the wine.
  2. Once the mixture has reached a full boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 10-15 minutes.  The mixture should reduce slightly during this time.
  3. Once simmered and slightly reduced, turn the heat off of the wine mixture, and allow the spices to steep in the wine for 20 minutes.  After steeping, strain the wine mixture into a clean bowl, and discard all of the solids (spices and orange peel).
  4. Add the strained mulled wine back into the pot, and add the cranberries.  Cook over medium-high heat until the wine returns to a boil and the berries begin to pop and turn jam-like, about 10 minutes.  Use the back of a spoon to lightly mush the berries after they begin to soften and to create a jam-like texture.  Once the jam has finished cooking and the berries are soft, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. For a chunkier jam, leave the berries as is.  For a smoother jam, use an emulsion blender or transfer to a blender to pulse the jam into a smoother consistency.  Allow to cool and fully set in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  6. Once fully set, remove from the refrigerator and enjoy!


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