Prep 5 mins
Cook 15 mins
Whether you have just come of the ski slopes or you are wandering around a French Marché de Noël, a Christmas Market, this is JUST the beverage to warm the cockles of your heart, as well as your frozen fingers and toes! Vin chaud is hot-spiced wine served the French way, with a slug of Cognac of course! It's a traditional welcome drink and is very popular where I live in the South West of France; especially at Christmas and New Year – and you’ll find it in all of the Christmas Markets at this time of year. Ladle this mulled wine into some heavy cut-glass punch cups; or for a real French feel, use an assortment of old wine glasses and to avoid them cracking, place a teaspoon in to the glasses beforehand - this takes the heat away from the glass. One word about the wine, please DO use a good wine, and not what is known as a "cooking wine" - I find that Beaujolais works well or a fruity Chinon.
- 750 ml red wine (Beaujolais, Chinon, Bordeaux or Anjou)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange, zest of
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1⁄3 cup cognac
- Wrap the cardamom pods and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth or muslin.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients, apart from the cognac, together in a large saucepan. Add the bag of spices. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over a low heat. Do not allow the wine to boil.
- The mulled wine is hot enough when the sugar has dissolved. Add the Cognac to the saucepan when the sugar has dissolved and ladle the mulled wine through a tea strainer (or colander) into punch cups, mugs or glasses.
This was pretty good. We took it to a party and almost everyone enjoyed it. It was a little strong for my taste, though. I was unsure exactly how many cinnamon sticks to add to the pot since there were two different listings for cinnamon sticks, so I went with 4.