Cheers to the New Year With This Old School Cheese Fondue Recipe
Recipe and photos by Launie Kettler
Nutty gruyere, dry white wine, a kiss of cherry, and a sprinkling of cayenne create this quintessential cheese fondue recipe. It’s perfect for a cozy night in for two, a family New Year’s Eve party, or just throwing back some cocktails with friends.
When I turned 24, my mother gave me her hand-me-down fondue pot from the 1970’s. And it felt like the score of a lifetime.
Memories, memories, memories of the fondues I’ve loved.
I remembered being able to walk underneath my grandparents’ kitchen table as a kid, and climbing up on a chair just for the reward of dipping a piece of beef into that screamingly hot pot of oil that my mother and grandmother - and father, and grandfather, and aunt, and uncle - warned me not to touch.
“Use the fondue fork. And be careful!” they’d admonish me.
I didn’t mind all the warnings, I was snug as a bug in a rug in my grandparents warm kitchen around the fire, wearing a homemade flannel nightgown and petting the family dog under the table.
And the beef fondue was just a joy to watch. It went in red and raw, and I’d watch it in fascination as it came out of the bubbling oil brown and lightly crispy.
That was my first love of fondue. My second was the classic cheese fondue.
By the time they’d fed everyone with the beef fondue, all the grownups would clamor for the cheese course – a cheese fondue, of course – along with their second whiskey and ginger. Back then, cheese seemed stinky and strange, and don’t get younger me started on the taste of cooked wine.
Then suddenly I started to really like Swiss cheese and wine in my 20’s. And like water returning to the shore, I had a primal craving to try a cheese fondue from my childhood.
It was a hot minute between the time that I told mother that I had an urge to try that classic fondue from my childhood when a beautifully wrapped – and well loved – used fondue pot showed up as a birthday present.
Along with a bottle of wine and cheese.
And thus began my birthday tradition of serving old school cheese fondue to friends on my birthday. Those parties became legendary, although erring on the side of decorum I won’t get into all the shenanigans. But, let’s just say that we all were well fed when we did what we did.
I hope this recipe helps inspire new or old traditions that create legendary memories!
Now round up your ingredients, get your cutting board ready, grab your F.N. Sharp utility knife for some cheese slicing and your bread knife for some bread slicing and let’s get this fondue party started!
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Old School Cheese Fondue Recipe
Cheese Fondue Ingredients:
Note: If you’re wondering what else to dip in cheese fondue, you can try some soft pretzels, sliced apples and pears, fresh broccoli or cauliflower, sweet peppers or potato fries!
Cheese Fondue Instructions:
Note: If there is any leftover fondue, refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, cook in a pan over low heat stirring often until warmed through.
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About the Recipe Creator
Launie Kettler is a food writer and photographer who cooks big food in a small kitchen in northern Vermont. Her husband and cats are tolerant of the fact that she plays the same Wilco and Son Volt albums over and over while pontificating about the beauty of cumin.
Launie is also the co-author of The Everything Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook and her recipes have been featured in Where Women Cook, Fresh Magazine, and on Salon.