French Language Blog

Warm Your Soul with This Mulled Wine Recipe! Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Culture, Vocabulary

December is here, and along with the cold comes my favorite season. I don’t mean winter – snow is beautiful and all, but I don’t much care to be in it. I’m referring to the holiday season. It’s all about traditions, family time, cookies, ugly sweaters, and if you’re my mother, a different theme for Christmas decorations (this year, her house is decorated with M&Ms memorabilia).

J’ai passé plusieurs Noëls en France (I’ve spent a few Christmases in France), and while there are many similarities to my holidays at home in the US, there’s something I’d never experienced before my time in Europe. This time of year, stands are popping up all around both big and small towns to sell artisan crafts, foods, toys, and other little gifts. These little ‘street malls,’ called les marchés de Noël, date back to the XVe siècle (15th century) in Strasbourg. You could easily spend a long time browsing every booth pour trouver le cadeau parfait (to find the perfect gift).

The air can indeed get a bit chilly outside, so make sure you bundle up. Even with the heavy coats and gloves and scarves, it can still be cold (especially if it’s windy). Luckily, almost every marché de Noël sells something to warm you up from the inside: le vin chaud (mulled wine).

Mulled wine is a hot mixture of red wine and mulling spices and is generally served with an orange slice or some raisins. Spiced wine dates back to the 2nd century in Rome, but the recipe as we know it today is a little different.

It’s very simple to make at home, so you don’t need to travel to France to get a cup at one of the Christmas markets. All you need is a bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect), cloves, star anise, oranges, and sugar or honey. Some people like to add apple cider; I suggest making a few batches to see what you like best!

Below I’ve published a common recipe for le vin chaud :

Les ingrédients :

  • 1,5 litre de vin rouge (1 large bottle of red wine)
  • 250 g de sucre (1 cup of sugar)
  • zeste d’orange (orange zest)
  • 4 oranges
  • 2 bâtons de cannelle (2 cinnamon sticks)
  • 3 étoiles d’anis étoilé (3 star anise)
  • 4 clous de girofle (4 cloves)


La préparation :

  • Mélanger les ingrédients dans une casserole. (Mix the ingredients in a pan.)
  • Porter à ébullition doucement. (Bring liquid to just below boiling point.)
  • Laisser frémir pendant 5 minutes. (Let simmer for 5 minutes.)
  • Enlever les épices à l’aide d’une passoire. (Remove the spices with a strainer)
  • Servir très chaud. (Serve very hot.)
  • Ajouter une rondelle d’orange par verre. (Add an orange slice to each glass.)
Tags: , , , ,
Keep learning French with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Josh Dougherty

Just your typical francophile. If you have any topics you'd like me to discuss, feel free to let me know!