Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vin Brule

"Vin Brulé" is an Italian mulled wine (Vin Brulé actually means boiled wine/burnt wine in French, but the term is used throughout Italy.) It is usually served around the Christmas holidays, and is one of "those" recipes, where each region/family has their own interpretation. Many people add extra citrus, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. to theirs, but my simple recipe was given to me by a dear friend/former college roommate from Verona.

Her family's tradition quickly became my family's tradition, and we have been enjoying this treat for the last 15+ years. We tend to serve up Vin Brulé after Christmas Eve church services and dinner, while we are opening gifts. But… I have become quite popular for bringing it with me to friends' holiday parties as well. Making it in a slow cooker, such as the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, allows you to easily take it with you to a friend's house. It also stays warm in a slow cooker, and it allows for a very quick clean up. You can easily double this recipe for a larger crowd, but it does not reheat well after the first day. Please enjoy this recipe, from my house to yours, and also be sure to check out the Hamilton Beach website for more great products. Happy holidays!

Vin Brulé
by Chris
As shared with me by my dear friend, Diana

1 1.5-liter bottle of dry red wine (cheap is okay!)
3/4 cup of sugar (or more, to taste), divided
2 large oranges, cut into 8 wedges each (cut an orange into halves, then each half into quarters)
Approximately 65-70 whole cloves
Cinnamon sticks, sliced lemons, nutmeg, and any other spices or citrus fruit, if desired (optional)
1-2 oranges, cut into wedges, for serving (optional, if desired)

Carefully pour the bottle of wine into your slow cooker. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, stir, and place on the high heat setting. Allow to warm for 30 minutes. While wine is heating, cut the 2 oranges into wedges, as directed above. Insert 4-5 (I used 4) whole cloves into each wedge by piercing the skin with the sharp point of each clove.

After the wine has warmed for 30 minutes, remove the slow cooker lid, stir the wine, and add the clove-studded oranges. If you would like to add other ingredients, such as sliced lemons, cinnamon sticks, or nutmeg, do so now. Replace lid and set to cook on high heat for another hour.

After the hour is up, stir the wine, add another 1/4 cup of sugar (stir again), and cook on high heat for 30 minutes once more. At this point taste the wine, as it could be done. If you still find the wine to not be sweet or citrusy enough for your taste, feel free to add yet another 1/4 cup of sugar and the place on high heat for another 30 minutes. Continue tasting every 30 minutes until you are happy with the flavor.

When you are pleased with the wine, place the slow cooker on the warm setting, and it will remain at a nice temperature all evening. If you are transporting the wine in your Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6 Quart Slow Cooker, be sure to clamp the lid down in order to prevent spills. When you reach your destination, un-clamp the lid and place on the warm setting in order to heat/ keep warm. The clamps should only be used for transport. Although this wine will reheat, it is much better served fresh on the day it was made. You can easily double this recipe if desired. Please enjoy responsibly, and have a wonderful holiday season!

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