Vin Chaud on a Winter Afternoon

by Nichole Robertson

Nichole Robertson (of Little Brown Pen) waxes nostalgic for afternoons spent in the Marais drinking vin chaud. On days when it’s too cold to go out, try her recipe and indulge at home!

chalkboardsPhoto courtesy of Little Brown Pen

Text by Nichole Roberton

Last night’s crisp air sparked a memory of sipping vin chaud on cold Paris afternoons.

Whenever Liam (just 18 months at the time) would fight his afternoon nap, we’d strap him into the stroller and head in the direction of our favorite cafe a few blocks away. He typically fell asleep on the way there, giving Evan, Alexander and me the rare opportunity to sit down like civilized human beings and enjoy a hot drink while he snoozed in the stroller. Alexander sipped hot chocolate and colored, and Evan and I engaged in our usual debate: The responsible choice of 3pm coffee? Or the not-so-responsible choice of 3pm mulled wine?

There were two benefits to choosing wine over coffee (cmon, you knew we chose wine, right?).

One: It’s awesome.
Two: It made any post-nap, late afternoon whining, screaming, complaining or fighting seem a lot less annoying.

Warm and calm, we’d cruise through the rest of the afternoon smiling (no matter how grand the toddler tantrums). I hope it’s cold next week when we return to Paris because a steaming cup of mulled wine is on our agenda.

vin chaudPhoto: l’

Below is the recipe I found last year. Do you have your own? I’d love to see it.

Vin Chaud


1 bottle of red wine
1/4 cup of brown sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. of ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Zest of a lemon or an orange
1 lemon
Cinnamon sticks for serving


Heat the wine, sugar and spices in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it simmers. Add the zest. Pour the wine into glasses while hot. Serve with a slice of lemon in each glass or a stick of cinnamon.

Edited by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Written By

Nichole Robertson

Nichole is a writer, photographer and author of Paris In Color (Chronicle Books, April 2012). She began the Paris Color Project when she moved to Paris in January 2009. What started as daily blog photos blossomed into a three-year project.When she's not photographing Paris, eating French butter, or baking cake, she's writing. Nichole co-runs a multidisciplinary creative studio with her husband Evan, and writes copy for clients like Real Simple, Bravo TV, Tribal DDB, Amala Beauty and Estee Lauder brands. View Nichole Robertson's Website

4 comments on “Vin Chaud on a Winter Afternoon

Hello Nichole and HiP,
I like your entry, it makes me nostalgic for what I remember of Paris, which seems far away from the south of France just now! Looks like you will have the cold weather on your side for your visit…I recently posted my version of a vin chaud, at:

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