Like Pimms, Vin Chaud is a ritual drink denoting a particularly British progress through the seasons. As that warm spicy citrusy scent curls beguilingly from the first hot glass, you know you are in the right place doing the correct thing. Skiing.

Pierce the orange with cloves like an old fashioned pomander. Sliver off the zest from the lemon, and squeeze the juice. Tie up the rest of the spices and herbs in a piece of clean muslin. Use a heat diffuser over a gas flame or a very low heat. Pour the wine into a large pan, add the pierced orange, the muslin bag, the lemon juice and zest and the sugar, stirring to dissolve.

Heat gently until the flavours infuse the wine. Never boil Vin Chaud, it defeats the object. At CK Verbier, we like to add a shot of rum, slivovitz or kirsh to each glass before serving.

  • 1 orange
  • 2 x 750ml bottles of red wine
  • such as a Merlot or Zinfandel
  • 250g sugar
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • Slivovitz, kirsh or rum to taste