Happy New Year’s Eve everyone.

I hope you’re celebrating with friends, family, and appropriate amounts of champagne. Or if you’re in less of a party mood and more of a cozy winter evening mood where you snuggle up on the couch with someone you happen to like a lot while wearing wool socks, then I’ve got just the thing for you.

Vin chaud is a mulled wine drink you can find pretty much everywhere in France once the temperature dips below 40. And since the age of 15, I’ve associated vin chaud with New Year’s. There is an infamous story about my family joining several of our family friends in the Alps when I was a teenager. These are the family friends we take many a trip with, and us kids (now age 28-35), well, we tend to get in trouble. Like ordering cup after cup of vin chaud at the ski lodge and telling the bartender to put it on our room. We could reach the bar, so of course no one in France blinked an eye, and our parents were none the wiser until we checked out at the end of the week. Sorry mom and dad.

Vin Chaud {French Mulled Wine} | Things I Made Today

I’m twice the age I was when I drank vin chaud in the mountains that year, and I like to think that I enjoy it more now. And making it at home is so easy, when I get that first taste, I always want to slap myself for not making it more often.

The recipes you’ll find for vin chaud vary greatly—there really isn’t an absolute right way to do it—but I prefer a nice fruity wine like Côtes du Rhône, a dab of brandy and a dab of honey, and then a smattering of spices and orange zest. Some people like to use sugar or orange juice, but I prefer not making the mulled wine too sweet.

Vin Chaud {French Mulled Wine} | Things I Made Today

So here’s to 2015. It’s been a good year, but we’ve already talked about that, my friends. There has been a lot of reflecting on life on the blog recently, so I’ll spare you the deep inner monologue and instead just wish you happy new year.

Vin Chaud {French Mulled Wine} | Things I Made Today

Enjoy yourselves tonight. Fill your glasses with bubbly, with vin chaud, or with whatever else makes you happy. See you in 2016.

Vin Chaud {French Mulled Wine}
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 bottle (.75 liter) Côtes du Rhône wine
  • ½ inch fresh ginger, sliced into 2-4 strips
  • 3 whole nutmegs
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • Zest from ½ orange
  • Orange slices and cinnamon sticks for serving
  1. In a non-reactive saucepan, combine wine, ginger, nutmegs, cardamon, pepper, honey, brandy, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Turn off heat and let stand for about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour wine through a fine-mesh strainer into mugs and serve with a slice or orange and cinnamon stick.


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