Mulled Cider Recipe
We're enjoying a lovely mild spell at the moment. But it won't be long before thoughts turn to Bonfire Night and Halloween and that, in turn, leads to thoughts of warming drinks to keep the cold at bay. And so it's time to dig out the Mulled Cider Recipe.
Mulled wine feels Christmassy to me, so it seems too early to drink it in November. However mulled cider is autumnal and lovely. Even its golden colour reminds you of this time of year.
My mulled cider recipe is based on one I cut out of a newspaper a few years ago, and has been adapted along the way. It's so easy and very delicious. And if you make your own cider, as we do, it's remarkably cheap - which is a bonus!
If you don't have any cider around, go for a cheap shop-bought one. There's no point in spending a lot on quality cider because you're about to change the taste anyway. You can use sparkling or still, whichever you can find. If you go for sparkling, bear in mind the bubbles will quickly disappear as you heat it up. If you want to lower the alcohol content, increase the apple juice and reduce the cider, and/or leave out the tot of brandy/calvados.
Mulled Cider Recipe
To make about 1 litre of mulled cider you will need:
- .75 litres of cider
- 200ml apple juice
- 2 tablespoons of sugar (more if you have a sweet tooth)
- a tot of brandy or calvados
- a dash of vanilla extract
- a small slice of root ginger
- half a cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 clove
- 1 star anise - optional (star anise is not popular in our house so now we leave it out - if you like it, pop one in)
- half an orange
- half a lemon
- To garnish: sliced apples, rosemary sprigs, a sprinkle of cinnamon, cinnamon stick, star anise....
Grate the root ginger, crush the cardamom pods. Cut the orange and lemon into thin slices. Put the cider, apple juice, brandy/calvados, vanilla extract, sugar plus any juice from the oranges and lemons, into a large saucepan. Gently heat it until the sugar has dissolved.
Then add the grated ginger, half cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds, clove and fruit slices.
Turn off the heat and let the spices infuse into the liquid for a couple of hours or so. If cloves are not really your thing, fish it out after half an hour or so with the star anise if you used it (and if you can find it!).
20 minutes before you're ready to serve, strain the cider into another saucepan so all the bits are removed.
Gently heat it up again to a slow simmer, then leave on a low heat to keep warm.
Serve into glass mugs with a ladle, beautifully garnished. Or pour your lovely mulled cider into a thermos flask to take out with you. Which, for some reason, seems to be the loveliest way to drink it.
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