Good New England apple cider from a local apple orchard is one of my very favorite beverages. Nothing says fall to me than a glass of apple cider. Mulled cider is even better. Mulling cider with a select mixture of spices perfumes the house with wonderful aromas and makes for the most comforting warm winter drink. Children love the cider warm from the pot “as is”, while adults often enjoy the added kick of a jigger of rum, brandy or Calvados. We’ve often taken a thermos of mulled cider with us when we’re snow shoeing in the winter. Nothing warms you up more than a mug of mulled cider!
Whether you enjoy mulled cider as is or with an added kick I think you will enjoy this recipe. You can make it ahead of time and keep it warm in your crock pot. Your house will be filled with the wonderful aromas as your company arrives.
I’ve often ordered mulled cider when we go out to eat, but it is so easy to make at home!
2 quarts fresh apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks (about two inches each)
½ tsp. whole cloves
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
Zest of one orange, peeled in a continuous spiral if possible.
1 ounce per serving of rum, brandy or Calvados (optional)
Combine the cider, brown sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and orange zest in a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain the spices from the mulled cider mixture and discard. Return the cider to the pan and keep warm. You can also transfer the mulled cider to a crock pot to keep warm. The cider is ready to be served as is. If spiking it, pour 1 ounce of the preferred liquor into each serving mug and fill with the hot cider.
Makes about 8 servings