I am currently curled up at my friend’s chalet in Verbier, Switzerland watching little snowflakes fall outside and all I can think about is, I can’t wait for it to be an acceptable hour to start drinking so I can make some vin chaud. Also known as mulled wine or hot wine in the English-speaking world, or glühwein in Germany, this warming winter drink is a great way to (literally) spice up any cheap wine you may have lying around. It also makes for a very popular party drink and is so easy to make. Here’s how:
You will need:
- 10 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 whole nutmeg, zested a little bit on all sides to erode the outside
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1tbsp orange zest
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar (depends how sweet you like it)
- 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice (don’t discard the orange rind)
- cheese cloth, for wrapping spices
- 1 bottle any red wine
Place cloves, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, star anise pods, grated ginger and orange zest into a the center of a cheese cloth and tie the corners together with kitchen twine (think bouquet garni). You can add the vanilla pod into this bouquet but it may be too big and awkwardly-shaped, so you can just add it directly to the pot.
In a large pot, combine the red wine, sugar, vanilla pod, orange juice, orange rind and spice bouquet over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to keep the liquid bubbling gently, and let simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. You can also add any fruit you like to this mixture (such as lemons, apples, peaches or winter berries). The soak up the wine and give you something good to bite into.
Ladle hot wine into heat-proof mugs and place cinnamon stick into each mug for garnish. If serving at a party, avoid plastic cups as they may melt and could release carcinogenic chemicals into your drink.
In good health,
* Photo credits Modern Rosies