14 December, 2009

Staying warm.

It has shifted from this......and this... ..to these. This all happened in a matter of moments, or so it seems. Spoiled with an endlessly balmy November, we rolled blithely into blackest December. Boy, do I ever resent the guy who came up with Daylight Savings Time for robbing me of those last rays of light. All the radiators have been flicked up a notch to accomodate the drop in temperature. Will we have a white Christmas? It would be atypical for the Languedoc these past few winters. But stock up anyway on the few aromatic ingredients for vin chaud, or mulled wine. For when you're snowed in, or when you just want to pretend that you are.

Vin Chaud (French Mulled Wine)

Serves one to four people, depending on the degree of thirst.

one bottle of Beaujolais red wine
zest of 2 oranges
zest of one lemon
4 cinnamon sticks
6 whole pods of cardamom, split open
6 whole cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup of currant liqueur (Cassis de Dijon), or Cognac and 3 tablespoons of sugar

Combine the wine and all the spices in a saucepan, heat until simmering, and allow to bubble very slightly for about half an hour. Take at least three deep breaths of the gorgeous perfumes wafting through your house. Add the Cassis de Dijon, or sweetened Cognac, simmer for another five minutes, strain and serve.

Sip and dream of picture-postcard Christmas markets in the Alsace, where the snow lingers a bit longer.


  1. I am definitely making vin chaud this weekend! I never considered using Beaujolais, but what a great idea - it's getting less "nouveau" every day. ;)

  2. An excellent plan, Camille! Let me know how it turns out...

  3. Great recipe Tammy! and you don't have to use an expensive wine. It is in the 70's in LA but nights get cold.

  4. 70s! Sigh. It was -8 Celcius here at 6 am this morning, I was told. I may just nip at the vin chaud breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days...


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