Mulled Cider

Posted on December 27, 2013

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Mulled Cider on things{we}make

We have noted over the years that if you say to your guests “What would you like to drink?” They will either look a little lost and say “Well, what have you got?” which leads to you racking your brains for every possible option…or they will request the only thing that you haven’t got.

But, if you say “Would you like a glass of Mulled Cider?” or something similarly warming and festive, they will invariably say “Yes, that would be lovely.” This saves you from much listing, rummaging and apologising.

There are several mulled cider recipes doing the rounds this year. Maybe it’s because we have collectively realised that mulled wine, when not done well, can be quite sour and have a faint twang of cough medicine.

Cider however has inherent sweetness and a natural affinity with cinnamon and other spices that is difficult to deny. We made some to serve at our ‘Open House’ for my birthday on Christmas Eve. As luck would have it, early into the session our friends Katie and Adam gave me a lovely enamel teapot. This worked splendidly for keeping the cider warm by the fire, then topping up glasses throughout.

Mulled Cider on things{we}make

It went down so well that Ed had to make a second batch when we ran out mid-evening. You can easily do this by supplementing the dregs with a second bottle of cider, plus the ‘sweetness’ and you are pretty much there.

I refer to the cider as ‘hard’ because I am told that some Americans call normal apple juice ‘cider’ and that the hard denotes the alcoholic version. If you have some non-drinkers, and children, around this would work well using apple juice, but then adding an optional nip of brandy to each glass for those who need fortification.

Mulled Cider on things{we}make

We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and that you have an excellent New Year…maybe start it with a glass of mulled cider keeping warm by the fire.

Things{we)make Mulled Cider

1 x 3 litre bottle of (Hard) Cider

Aromatics:
Juice of 1 clementine and 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange – peeled with a vegetable peeler
2 star anise
1 split vanilla pod
4 cloves
A good grating of nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick

Sweetness:
8 dessert spoons of golden caster sugar
a squirt of honey

Fruity bits:
1 sliced orange
1 sliced apple – pips removed

Bonus booze:
Optional slugs of brandy

Heat the cider in a large pan until it just starts to boil
Add the aromatics and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the sugar and stir well until the sugar dissolves.
Test the sweetness and flavour and add a little honey until it tastes right.
Don’t make it too sweet or it will be cloying.
Add the pretty fruity bits for effect.
Turn off the heat and add a slug of brandy to replace alcohol lost to the boiling process.
Ladle into glasses that are strong enough to take a little heat.
Decant into a slow cooker or a dinky teapot to keep warm.