Thursday, March 24, 2011


A couple years ago, Maya and I were lucky enough to spend Christmas in Paris (neither of us had been before). It was an amazing trip--except it was FREEZING out. The fountain outside the Louvre was completely frozen over and I even rocked tights under my jeans every day. But it didn't matter because after our first day there, we discovered Vin Chaud. Vin means wine in french, and chaud means hot. Translation: hot wine. So after walking around all day our first day there, our hands, noses, and cheeks numb, we decided to take a break in a small cafe. We immediately established with our server that we wanted something to warm us up. He smiled and assured us he had just the thing. Did he ever! I took my first sip and was in heaven. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, sweetened with brown sugar, and topped with a slice of lemon--it warmed me to my toes.

the first time we tried the delicious drink in Paris
 Ever since that trip, whenever it's cold out and I want that warm and cozy feeling, I make Vin Chaud. It never misses and it's a surefire crowd pleaser. Seeing as how the weather here in L.A. has been dreary, gloomy, and cold lately--I can't think of a better time to make Vin Chaud.

1 bottle of red wine (i prefer a dry red wine)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 lemon, zested

Heat the wine, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and cloves in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it simmers and a foam forms. Remove from heat. Add the lemon zest and stir, let sit for 2 minutes. Pour wine through a strainer into stemmed wine glasses or a cup/mug with a handle while hot. Add a slice of lemon to each glass and serve.

Hope it warms you to your toes like it did to me!