Vin Brûlé (Italian Mulled Wine)

A festive favourite, this recipe is a comforting party drink or Christmas Eve treat.

Vin Brulee

Photo by Hakan Burcuoglu

This recipe for vin brûlé, an Italian mulled wine known by the French phrase for “burnt wine,” comes from Amar Gill, beverage manager at Banda Volpi. Although nobody knows exactly where the name comes from, it is popular throughout Italy. On cold evenings throughout the holiday period, sometimes we all need a warm drink to get us through. The smell of the infusing liquids will fill your home, making Christmas feel even closer than it is. While the name might be French, the ingredients in vin brûlé are authentically Italian.




16 ounces Italian red wine (dry, fruity red like valpolicella or barbera recommended)

4 ounces limoncello

4 ounces Aperol

16 ounces orange juice

4 ounces simple syrup (Add 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 cup hot water. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Makes about 6 ounces syrup)

16 dashes Angostura bitters

2 whole cinnamon sticks

Orange slices, to garnish

1 whole star anise, to garnish (optional)




Add all the ingredients except the cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and star anise to a large saucepan.

Break the cinnamon sticks in half and add to the wine.

Heat gently on medium until steaming but not boiling.

Once steaming, turn the heat to low and let infuse for 5-10 mins.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve.

Garnish each drink with an orange slice and optionally a star anise pod.