In my little Swiss cookbook I found a recipe called Vin Chaud du Carnaval. In some parts of Switzerland on Shrove Tuesday, there is a Carnaval and people in costumes and masks take to the streets and hot wine is prepared to help people stay warm. I love old traditions and I love visiting Europe when villages celebrate, there is something beautiful about it, for me.
Now I know my husband loves mulled wine, as he makes himself a cup every now and then in winter, so I thought I'd try the Swiss version.
We loved it, the flavours were delicious, you could taste the lemon and the orange and the cinnamon.
The longer it was left on the heat, the better the flavours got. So please put it on the lowest heat you can, and allow it to heat up ever so slowly and do not allow it to boil, because if it boils the alcohol will will cook out, and no one wants that. Then leave it on the stove top for hours, it just stays hot, the flavours get better and better and you sip on beautiful mulled wine while toasting marshmallows and roasting chestnuts.
The sugar amount can be reduced, if you want, but I always try recipes as written, then modify if needed next time. The wine does not need to be expensive, you just need to love the flavour of it. Now this recipe is supposed to be an ancient recipe, and it is delicious and I love it, but one day I may add some brandy to it to see if I like it, will let you know, when I do.
If you have any leftovers, please don't throw it out, allow it to cool, I just leave it out overnight. Then in the morning I pour it into a jug and refrigerate it. By evening, I just pour some into a glass, add some sparkling water, as it can be strong and sweet cold, and you now have a delicious sangria. No waste, I'm happy.
If you want to make it for a winter evening party, the recipe is easily doubled. It gets dark and cold early in winter, so just put the wine on the heat an hour to an hour and a half before people arrive and your house will smell amazing and you will have drinks ready to go, once they arrive. Or finish the night off with this delicious drink.
Here is a lovely recipe which I know my husband and I will be enjoying together for years.
2 litres (8 cups) red wine
750ml (3 cups) water
1/1/2-2 cups caster sugar, to taste
1 orange, cut into eighths
1 small lemon, cut into eighths
3 cinnamon sticks
Place all of the ingredients into a large saucepan. Place over a very low heat and stir for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. After that, keep heating the wine slowly until it is almost boiling, but do not allow it to boil. The longer it is left on the heat, the better it is.
Then sip and enjoy all night long.
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