How to Make Mulled Wine Using a Water Cooler

PHOTO by Ivan Piganov /
How we made mulled wine for our editorial office’s New Year’s Eve party

We needed a lot of it and we didn’t have much manpower since everyone was busy with other things before the end of the year.

We looked around and decided to use a water cooler for this purpose. After all, it can not only cool the liquid but heat it as well.

You need spices for mulled wine but they could clog the water cooler, so we did not use dry spices but instead infused brandy with them.

If you want to pour wine and flavoured brandy into a big plastic water bottle, you should never try to punch a hole in its bottom. For one, it is quite problematic as the plastic is thick. Second, it is just plain wrong: the cooler will leak.

Here’s how we did it:

Mulled Wine

red wineeight bottles
brandyone bottle
spices (clove, cardamom, star anise and others)

We took the cooler, eight bottles of red wine, one bottle of brandy, oranges, lemons and a variety of spices.


We put the spices and orange and lemon zest in the brandy and let it sit for a couple of days.


On the day of the party, we took an empty water bottle and a funnel and poured all the wine into the bottle.


We also added some essences: clove, orange, cardamom, lemon, star anise and others.


We then plugged the bottle with a wine stopper and shook it well.


After that, we hoisted the bottle onto the cooler as if it was filled with water.


We then gave it a go, pouring a glass of mulled wine from the cooler’s hot tap.


Having approved the result (which had all the aromas that we had introduced with the help of the essences), we started the party.