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. Below is the recipe I found last year. Do you have your own? I'd love to see it. Vin Chaud Ingredients: 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 Preparation: 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.