(J Freishter for Radiant Life)

Vin Chaud (French Mulled Wine)

Vin chaud is a popular and traditional winter beverage that is usually made with red wine along with various spices. Similar to eggnog or hot cider in the States, vin chaud is the hot drink that you can find at Christmas markets in France and across various European countries during the Christmas season. It’s sweet and flavorful. Tastes like sunshine in a cup and a warm hug from Santa.

Note: You can use any wine for this recipe. Expensive wines are unnecessary since it will be cooked with fruits and spices. Personally, I prefer to use the wine from Burgundy that has strawberry, black cherry and spice. For this recipe I often use Beaujolais Villages (new wine of the year) from Louis Jadot. This wine uses Gemay Noir grapes, which is very light and has fruit-forward flavor that fits this recipe well. It is a good wine to pair with hors d’oeuvres and mild cheeses. The best of all, it is at a very reasonable price (around $10 a bottle) but is of high quality for cooking and making desserts.

4 Servings

3 Cups Red Wine

5 Cinnamon Sticks (4 for decorations)

6 Whole Cloves

1 Orange: (3-4mm round sliced)

1 Lemon: (3-4mm round sliced)

¼ Cup Cane Sugar

A handful fresh cranberries for decoration


  1. Combine wine, 3 slices of orange, 4 slices of lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, 6 whole cloves and sugar into a large saucepan. Heat over medium till boiled. (For those who dislike alcohol, heat wine on low heat for 30 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Then, add the sugar, citrus, spices and simmer for 10 minutes).
  2. Remove from heat and cover with lid. Let it sit at least 30 minutes to allow the aroma from citrus and spices to transfer to the wine.
  3. Serve the wine with 1 slice of fresh orange,1 slice of fresh lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, and a few fresh cranberries.
  4. Vin chaud can be prepared in advance. Just remove the spices and citrus before storing in a container. Reheat before serving.