There's nothing better this time of year than to sit indoors, snow without, fire roaring at the hearth, sipping a steaming cup of mulled wine. For those with neither snow nor hearth, we can at least take comfort in a mug of hot spiced wine. One can find many recipes for this simple tonic, but this year, I offer a particularly French version.
One evening, while walking past the Marchés de Noël in downtown Dijon, the air bristling with cold, I was greeted with the most pungently delicious wafts of warm wine coming from one of the stands. The fellow was clearly doing good business, as a dozen passersby stood about imbibing the drink from little plastic cups. (When you serve up the following, of course, use a nice heatproof glass or porcelain mug.)
1 bottle Burgundy
2 oz powdered sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange, halved
1 dried bay leaf
1 shot Grand Marnier
1. Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
2. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Add more sugar if you desire your wine sweeter.
3. Take off from heat and add Grand Marnier.
4. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve tout de suite.
À votre santé!