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Vin Brulè Recipe

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There's nothing quite so warm and welcoming when it's cold out than a steaming mug of vin brulè, or heated, spiced wine. The people of the Val Camonica, up in the snowy Alps, make it all winter long to keep the chill at bay.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart (1 liter) full bodied red wine (cheap is fine)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 4 to 8 cloves (to taste)
  • The grated zest of an orange, and of a lemon

Preparation:

Begin by grating the zests, and put them in a low-sided pot, ideally one without a non-stick coating.

Add the cloves and cinnamon, followed by the sugar and some of the wine. Turn the flame on and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rest of the wine and bring the pot to a boil, stirring every now and then.

Turn off the burner. If you want, you can flame the vin brulè by carefully holding a lit match to the surface of the wine (use a pair of tweezers, and make sure there's nothing flammable -- hand or hair -- above the pot). If you would rather not flame, don't.

Filter the vin brulè with a fine-mesh strainer, and it's ready to serve. Perfect for callers Christmas Eve, carolers, or friends who come to visit on a cold winter day!

Notes:
Some people prefer to heat Vin Brulè to just shy of a boil, saying that boiling adversly affects its flavor.
In a pinch, you can heat Vin Brulè a microwave oven, and also make it by the mug this way.

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