Cold weather calls for warm drinks. Although I’ve spent most of my life in CA cities that don’t drop much below 50 degrees F, I’ve survived a handful of winters in much colder temperatures including the last few in Geneva, Switzerland. A very popular drink there is vin chaud (translates to warm wine), which is the same thing as mulled wine here in the US. It is a bit like a warm sangria. With the cold Aspen weather, I decided to make vin chaud at home. Many recipes have a lot of sugar and additional ingredients (like allspice and nutmeg), but we still wanted to taste the wine so we limited it to cinnamon, cloves, and a touch of sugar. This serves about 4.
1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine, preferably a Cabernet and something on the cheaper side
4 sticks of cinnamon
1/4 cup of brandy
1 orange, peeled and sliced into rounds
3 tablespoons of sugar or honey
1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and turn the stove to medium-low.
2. Occasionally stir for the first few minutes so that the ingredients are mixed evenly.
3. Turn the stove down to low. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
4. Once there is a bit of steam coming off the wine, stir a bit more for another few minutes. Make sure that all the sugar or honey has dissolved.
5. Use a ladle to pour the wine into mugs (make sure that you’re not pouring any of the seasoning) and serve!