Delicious, sensational, French Mulled Wine Recipe

Written by on December 18, 2014 in Wine and Drinks

Glass of vin chaud, spicy warm wine, with slices of lemon

Hot, mulled wine or “vin chaud” in French, dates back centuries to Roman times. And, in France, it’s become a traditional Christmas and winter warmer.

Vin Chaud

You’ll find it served at Christmas markets and restaurants all over France. But, in Alsace in northeastern France, it’s particularly delicious. Here, vin chaud being made in huge kettles at the famous open-air Christmas Markets. People drink it while wandering around the market to stay warm. Or enjoy it nibbling the some of the traditional market fare such as spiced Christmas cookies called bredele, Flammekueche (Tarte Flambée), local spiced sausages or even crepes. People also brew their own vin chaud at home where it’s often served on its own to warm up on a chilly afternoon or after dinner, or along with a spiced biscuit. 

There are countless variations for vin chaud recipes. The type of wine and spices differ depending on region, family and chef. Alsace is heavily influenced by the neighboring region of Germany, so its mulled wines tend to be similar to German glühweins. They’re heavily spiced and sweetened with cloves, star anise, cinnamon, oranges, honey and sometimes a shot of liqueur like Cognac.

For a simple recipe, heat half a botle of red wine in a pan. Add a cinnamon stick, star anise, 2 cloves and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Simmer for 6 minutes without boiling. Serve hot, decorated with slices of orange or lemon (or both). For a truly special recipe that outranks all the rest in the taste stakes, Vin Chaud with Pinot Noir will make you happy!

Cidre Chaud

In Normandy and Brittany, a popular option is to replace the wine with cider. It’s a lighter drink but no less delicious! If this takes your fancy, it’s very simple to make.

Heat 75cl (0.75l) in a pan and grate in the rind from an untreated orange and lemon. Meanwhile, keep the orange to cut into slices to add to the drink. When the cider reaches simmering point, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 cloves, a star anise and cinnamon stick. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes covered. Let the juice cool a little then stir in the honey. Enjoy!

How to make spiced mulled pears
Guide to pairing wines with Christmas dishes

Related Articles

How to drink Pastis

How to drink Pastis

Written by on August 17, 2020 in Wine and Drinks

You can walk into any bar in France and be assured of a familiar sight – a sign or a jug (the type you see at every French flea market) advertising pastis. And if it’s a hot day, there’s sure to be a Frenchman or two sitting at a table watching the world go by […]

Continue Reading

Guide to Armagnac – the spirit of Gascony

Armagnac is the most ancient French eau-de-vie. It’s produced in the Gers department, known as Gascony, and is at least 700 years old. However, it’s believed that the origins of Armagnac go back as far as the 10th century. And in fact, the Romans were the first to plant vines in the area. The first […]

Continue Reading

SomMailer Wine Club | Bringing French Wines to America

We chat to Laurent Yung of, a French wine club that brings unique, exclusive and difficult to find utterly delicious French wines to America… Can you tell us a bit about you and where you live? I was born in a small village near Bordeaux, France and I’m the youngest of three brothers. I […]

Continue Reading

Rosé wine | The taste of summer in France

You would have to be a tea-teetotaller not to have noticed the explosion in popularity of rosé wines in recent years, they are everywhere. Exports of Provence rosés, the main production area in France,  to their largest customer, the USA, have increased 10 fold in just over 7 years. As soon as the sun stars […]

Continue Reading

Stay home and still enjoy French wine

Whether you want a glass of French wine to enjoy over a Zoom or FaceTime call to catch up with friends, or to pair with a delicious dinner in the garden after staying indoors all day working, these trying times call for a glass of wine… With in the US you can have your […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.