This holiday season, cozy up next to the fire, and warm up with a hot spiced wine. Spiced, or mulled, wines are popular throughout much of Europe, particularly in the West and North, and they go by the name of everything from glogg to Glühwein, depending on its country of origin.
In France, it goes by the name of vin chaud. The French will say to use a cheaper wine or even leftover wine, and at first that may be confusing… a cheap, basic wine in France? And, gasp, leftover wine from a bottle that hasn’t been finished? It sounds almost like blasphemy! But since the wine will be heated and effectively steam away many aromas and flavors typically associated with the wine, most red wines can typically work and still taste delicious.
And vin chaud really does abound in France. After all, when the cold weather descends, the hot spiced wine is available in just about every cafe in France, and there’s many variations that exist; some recipes call for different spices, while others still add amaretto into the mix as well.
No matter what the ingredients though, between the heated wine and the spices, it’s the perfect way to warm up, both inside and out. It’s also a wonderful cocktail to serve at holiday parties. This particular recipe comes from the sommelier at Chef Eric’s atelier in the heart of Paris, which is also home to a number of our popular one-day cooking classes.
Vin Chaud Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cook method: Simmer
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 (750 ml) bottle of red wine (he suggests a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Gamay)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish
1. Combine the cider and wine with the honey, zest, cinnamon sticks, cloves, juice, and star anise in a large saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer over a low heat for around 10 minutes.
3. Pour the drink into mugs, add an orange peel, and enjoy.
What are your family traditions when it comes to holiday cocktails? Do you have a family recipe for a hot wine?
By Peg Kern
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