Vin Beurre

Kathryn Olson and Zac Overman, L'Oursin | Seattle

Hewing close to the old adage “butter makes it better,” Kathryn Olson and Zac Overman have modified a traditional French vin chaud (or mulled wine) by using white wine, honey, thyme, almonds and ginger—topped with a float of whipped calvados butter. “With all the aromatics we’d chosen already, a whiff of apple on top just made sense to us, plus calvados butter just sounded fucking rad,” says Overman. He recommends using unsalted butter, saying “the drink skews pretty savory anyway with the almonds and especially the thyme. Salted butter might push it into chicken soup territory.”



  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons whole white peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 750mL bottle white wine, preferably full-bodied and unoaked

Garnish: calvados butter (see Editor's Note)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat.
  3. Allow ingredients to infuse for 30 minutes.
  4. Fine strain through a cheesecloth and discard solids.
  5. Pour the mulled wine into a bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. To serve, preheat an Irish Coffee glass or other hot drink glass with hot water.
  7. Heat the mulled wine in a saucepan on the stove until hot.
  8. Pour out the hot water from the glass and fill with hot mulled wine.
  9. Top with a barspoon of calvados butter.
Editor's Note

Calvados Butter:
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 ounce calvados, preferably Manoir du Montreuil

In a small bowl, bring the unsalted butter to room temperature. Add the Calvados and whip until incorporated. Store at room temperature until ready to use.