Merry Mulled Merlot Jam Recipe

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Photo by Fotolia/Alb470
This rich-colored jam can be made from mulled merlot wine.

This article is posted with permission from Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

This recipe was submitted to Pomona’s by Carey H. Nash, who says: “I developed this recipe right before the holidays to give out as special gifts. It is complex, robust, tart, gorgeous red and perfect for holiday gifts!” We tried it, and Carey is absolutely right – delicious!

Yield: 5 to 6 half-pint jars


3 cups Merlot (750 ml bottle, which contains about 3 ¼ cups)
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
2 cups coarsely chopped navel oranges
3 packets Mulling Spice (see alternative option for mulling below)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp calcium water (included in the Pomona’s box)
11/4  cups up to 2 cups sugar 
3 tsp Pomona’s pectin powder


1. Wash and rinse six 8-oz jars; let stand in hot water. Bring lids to simmer; turn down heat; let stand in hot water.

2. In your jam-making pan, simmer 1 cup cranberries in 1 cup of Merlot until they soften and pop (about 10 min.). Once they have popped, squish them all up with your wooden spoon.

3. Measure sugar into a bowl and thoroughly stir 3 teaspoons of pectin into the sugar. (Carey’s recipe calls for 2 cups sugar; at Pomona’s we used 11/4 cups sugar and it was just right for us.)

4. When cranberries are squished, add the remaining 2 cups Merlot (drink any Merlot left in the bottle or add it to the jam – your choice!), 2 cups orange pieces, ¼ cup lemon juice, and 3 packets of Mulling Spices. Bring to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Remove Mulling Spice bags and add 2 teaspoons calcium water. Bring to boil. Stir in pectin-sugar, bring back to full boil, and remove from heat.

6. Taste and add more sugar here if desired. If adding more sugar, stir for 1 minute more at full boil.

7. Jar, water bath and enjoy! Fill clean, hot jars to 1/4-inch of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals – lids should be sucked down. Lasts about 3 weeks once opened.

Serving suggestions:

  • Spread on cinnamon raisin toast.
  • Smear on a bagel with cream cheese.
  • Serve with mild cheese and crackers.
  • Top a pound, cheese, or angel food cake.
  • Add to thumbprint cookies.
  • Dress up your turkey sandwich.
  • Eat with a spoon directly from jar! 

Alternative Mulling Ingredients & Directions


3 strips of orange zest, 2 inches wide, or equivalent (best to use an organic orange)
4 whole peppercorns
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 of a whole vanilla bean


1. After measuring out 1 cup of Merlot to simmer the cranberries in, pour the rest of the bottle (should be a little more than 2 cups) into a saucepan.

2. Add above ingredients.

3. For vanilla bean, use a paring knife and slice the piece of vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds into the Merlot to be mulled and also add the vanilla bean pod itself to the mixture.

4. Bring covered mixture to a simmer and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into the pan with the squished cranberries.

5. Add remaining ingredients and follow steps above to finish making the jam.

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