Friday, November 30, 2007

Vin Brule`

What is otherwise known as a Hot Toddy in English, our neighborhood barista recently introduced me to the tastes of vin brule` when I complained about my cold. "This will fix you up," he promised. He must know my mom. She always recommends a hot toddy for such ailments. The Italian version tastes sort of like a cross between spiced cider and sweet wine.

1 cup port wine (some Ascolani substitute the local vino cotto)
a shaving of lemon peel
a couple of cloves
a cinnamon stick

Combine them all and heat. Let sit about five minutes for the spices to give off their flavors. Reheat if necessary, strain out the spices and sip. The fumes do as much good as the actual beverage in clearing up blocked noses and chest congestion!


Anonymous said...

Aaaah -- a Hot Toddy by any other name can taste (and work) as well!

Anonymous said...

As children living in what once was a nunnery built in the 1640's, the cold damp winters were warmed up by a tassa di Vin Brule before bedtime. I remember these times with great happiness because red wine from our cellars, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon were brought to a boil and then with a wooden splinter from the huge kitchen fireplace the concoction was set alight to burn off the alcohol. The ohhh's we would breathe in unison gazing at the dancing flames. A wonderful suitable drink that warmed us right to the tip of our ears and toes. Bed times full of laughter and story telling shared within the family. My cousins and I, we today are blessed with so much each living in his own modern house. Such moments, winter evening rituals of shared exquisite simple pleasures, are no more. No one has time. Mi dispiace.