A Very Merry Mulled Wine Recipe

The spicy, warm beverage is infused with flavours iconic to the holidays — cloves, star anise, oranges — mixed with sweet red wine in a comforting, Christmassy blend.


Christmas has come and gone, but the season for cozying up at home has just begun.

One of my favourite things to enjoy with friends at this time of year is mulled wine. The spicy, warm beverage is infused with flavours iconic to the holidays — cloves, star anise, oranges — mixed with sweet red wine in a comforting, Christmassy blend.

The smell of mulled wine instantly transports me to my parents’ home on Christmas Eve, where I first tried the drink several years ago. We let the mixture sit on the stovetop for hours, simmering and filling the house with notes of cinnamon and fruit.


For me, a glass of wine is the perfect signal to my body that the work day is over and it’s time to unwind. So when I have the time to mull my own wine, it’s an even more powerful signal that I’m on vacation.

That said, it only takes about 30 minutes to brew a batch of mulled wine, making it a simple recipe for relaxation on a winter weekend. It’s also extremely customizable: apples, oranges, pomegranates, berries and peaches can all be substituted in, depending on which flavours or combinations you prefer.

This year, Alison, Melissa and I tried a new mulled wine recipe, inspired by this one from By Emma With Love. The addition of the cranberry juice adds a richness to the drink that cuts through the sweetness of the apple cider, bringing a beautiful balance to the bevvy.

The result?


A tall mug of rich, comforting mulled wine, perfect for an evening in with the gang!

Feel free to use the recipe below for inspiration, and let me know what delicious concoction you end up with.

Very Merry Mulled Wine

  • 2 750mL bottles red wine
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 8-10 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 star anise
  • 1 cup brandy or dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar (to taste)
  1. Combine all ingredients except brandy in a large pot or Crockpot. Stir to combine.
  2. Simmer for 30 minutes, though it can sit for longer.
  3. Stir in brandy and white sugar, to taste.
  4. Garnish with extra fruit and cinnamon sticks, and serve. Happy holidays!

Adapted from By Emma With Love

No Bun City? Where to Find A Dang Hot Dog in Vancouver

It’s really hard to find a dedicated hot dog restaurant in Vancouver. Show a weenie some support and go order one at any of these locations.


Image by Andrea Hirji

No fun city? More like no bun city.

It’s really hard to find a dedicated hot dog restaurant in Vancouver. You might Google around and think, “Oh! Dougie Dog looks good!” Wrong. It’s closed.

Then you’re like, hey, what’s this other one about? Nope, it’s closed too.

Oh, MADdogs Gourmet Hot Dogs looks awesome, and it’s still in business! But wait, it’s in Vancouver, WASHINGTON. Sad.

By this time, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Hey, I live in an urban centre. Why aren’t there any hot dogs in this DANG city?” Well, it seems like our favourite little wieners just can’t survive on their own in Vancouver’s hip food scene.

Other than at What’s Up? Hot Dog, the only franks in YVR seem to exist as refugees on the menus of poutineries, pubs and food trucks. With that said, show a weenie some support and go order one at any of these locations.



If Frenchie is there when you arrive at his restaurant, he may regale you with tales about upcoming menu items or his family back in Montreal. He’ll also advise you to upgrade your $3 steamed dog (a steamie) into either the Le Junior combo (a steamie with fries) or the Le Senior combo (which comes with poutine instead of frites!). Local and French beers are available at this diner found at the intersection of Main and Kingsway.

What’s Up? Hot Dog!

This hip spot in Hastings-Sunrise is the last refuge for hot dogs in our fair city. Gourmet dogs include the Hanzai (topped with pickled ginger, sriracha sauce, wasabi mayo, and tempura crunch) and Matt and She’s (slathered with mac n’ cheese, bacon bits, and green onion). Bring some coins to challenge your friends at pinball (the Star Trek machine is super fun!) and check out their happy hour with $3 Lonetree, PBR, and highballs from 3-6pm.


Bestie describes itself as “a friendly little sausage and beer parlour in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown.” Now, these aren’t your average hot dogs — they’re delectable turkey, bison and pork sausages served on a bed of sauerkraut or plate of fries. Not the wurst, eh? The best time of day to stop by is during their daily happy hour from 3-5pm, when a currywurst and mug of beer combo is just $10.


Jack’s Place

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I only recently learned that Army and Navy in Gastown has a small food counter operating out of the back corner of the store. Called Jack’s Place, it serves simple food like grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and small hot dogs. The hot dogs are no different than the ones you’d make at home, but for $1.75 each, Jack’s Place is a great place to grab a bite on the go.



Yeah, we said it. But we had to, because Costco hot dogs are filling, delicious and come with chopped onions and hot peppers on top of the usual condiments. The Costco by Roger’s Arena in downtown Vancouver serves up quarter-pound franks with a fountain drink, all for $1.50 — so, what are you waiting for?

Food Trucks and Carts


This food cart’s influence extends way beyond Vancouver. Although it originated here, Japadog now has carts in Los Angeles and at the Santa Monica Pier. Find any of the seven carts around the city and experience their East-meets-West creations; the Terimayo, with teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed is a crowd favourite!

The Dog House

This truck is quintessentially UBC, with themed dogs like the Thunder Dog, which comes with bacon, caramelized onions, and cheese, or the Wreck Beach frankfurter. The Dog House can be found cruising along UBC streets from Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm, but can also be booked for special events and catering.

Van Hot Dog

The most natural way to eat a hot dog is to purchase one from a street vendor and chow down as you watch the cars and people pass by. Van Hot Dog, which operates on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, serves up the classic treat with fresh, traditional toppings — in the end, isn’t that what you were looking for all along?

Honourable mention goes to Davie dog spots La Belle Patate and Fritz European Fry House.

To show your support for hot dogs in our city or to let us know YOUR favourite spot to grab a weenie, share this post with the hashtag #nobuncity and tag us at @vanhappyhours (Insta) or @yvrhappyhours (Twitter).