Vin Chaud

Vin Chaud…Glühwein… Glögi…which ever name you use, this is the perfect winter’s day warming drink with the added benefit of it being alcoholic. Here in Châtel and across the French Alps it is a popular drink on the slopes and while the recipe is really quite simple, most of the restaurants will buy and serve the pre made or even worse, the packet variety. I think this is so lazy as the flavour is completely different and I often find it overly acidic so a few spoons of sugar is needed to make it slightly more drinkable.

Our recipe is below…because a number of people have commented that it isn’t in the cookbook! I agree, it should have been 🙂

The recipe is pretty standard and you can play around with the ingredients to get your own version. We use honey and apple juice instead of sugar, as it gives more than just a sweet flavour to the drink. The most important thing – use a drinkable bottle of wine! If you use a barely drinkable bottle of red wine you will get a barely drinkable vin chaud. Not saying use the best Chateauneuf du Pape either mind you!  Use a full bodied wine, such as Merlot, Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, avoid lighter reds such as Gamay or Pinot Noir

There is no doubt that this is better the longer you can infuse the flavours for so if you are planning to serve it in the evening, make it first thing in the morning or a few days ahead. You know we like to get the most flavour out of simple things so we have experimented with perserving the Vin Chaud in bottles and trying it a year later. If you have the patience to wait, that is the way to get the best vin chaud you have even tasted. If you haven’t got the patience, come to Chalet Cannelle and try it 🙂


1 bottle red wine (cabernet, merlot or shiraz)
1 glass port
5 tbsp honey
1 glass apple juice
1 orange, rind only
2 star anise
3-4 cinnamon sticks
5 cloves
Grind of nutmeg
Cointreau or Grand Marnier, optional

Place all ingredients into a stock pot, except the Contreu or Grand Marnier if using.

Bring up to boiling point very slowly with a lid on – do not boil else the alcohol will evaporate and you don’t want that!

Taste and add a little more honey if required.

Turn the heat off & leave the wine to infuse. Ideally at least the day but overnight or a few days is better

When ready to serve, reheat gently and avoid boiling.  You can add the Cointreau or Grand Marnier at this stage and then serve in heatproof glasses. We love the Bodum Thermal “Pavina” glasses used in our photo

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