“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

vin brule- mulled wine

Other countries call mulled wine 'glogg', 'gluhwien', 'grzane', 'vin chaud'-  but in Italy it is called 'vin brule'! Vin brule literally translates to burnt wine, but I can assure you that there is nothing nasty about this (but maybe your head the next day if you drink too much)! 
This is dead simple to make and to me it tastes like Christmas in a glass. All of those lovely European winter spices brewing away in red wine, filling your house with an exotic aroma- one that fills my heart. For the last 10 years I have spent my time prior to Christmas in Europe, to me this drink is reminiscent of trying to keep my hands warm walking through the icy streets and keeping my insides toasty. It's like a hug in a glass! This is a festive drink and is to be shared with your loved ones. Not only do I love the flavour of sipping on this, but I love the fond memories that flood back with every tipple! I know it almost seems crazy to drink this at Christmas time in Australia with 40 degrees, but crank up the air con and give it a go! 
Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve and it is a tradition to drink vin brule in a 'piazza' (an open square). I am heading to one of my favourite local towns called Pietrasanta to sip on a glass or two with my friends!

What you need:
  • two oranges
  • 750 ml bottle dry red wine
  • two tablespoons sugar
  • four whole cloves
  • two whole juniper berries
  • one cinnamon stick
  • one bay leaf
  • one whole star anise
  • one fresh bay leaf

How to make:
1: Use a sharp paring knife to cut peel from orange in wide strips, avoiding white pith (this will give it an acidic flavour).
2: In a large pot, combine orange peel, wine, sugar, cloves, juniper berries, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and star anise. Bring to a bare simmer (do not let simmer or boil) over low heat; cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minuets. I usually prepare mine hours in advance to allow the flavours to develop
3: If you want to be pedantic strain through a fine mesh sieve and serve hot. However I serve straight from the large pot
Pietrasanta in Tuscany- where I will be drinking ponce in 18 hours

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