Mulled Cider is light, relatively low-alcohol, and with the addition of spices and some Apple Juice, is a delicious element of the run-up to Christmas.
I actually prefer it now to Mulled Wine, although obviously if that’s all you’ve got, I’ll force a glass or two down, just to be polite 😉
The recipe couldn’t be easier:
- A large stock pot (and another, slightly smaller for the non-alcoholic version)
- A ladle for serving – check that it pours well (or if you can beg or borrow an insulated jug, all the better)
- Heat-resistant glasses
INGREDIENTS: It’s hard to say how many this feeds – it really depend on how much people like it!
See NOTES below for quick replenishing information.
- 4 litres of dry Cider
- 1 x 750ml bottle of good quality apple juice.
- 4 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4-6 Star anise
- 1/4 of a nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 vanilla pod, split, or 2-3 heaped teaspoons of vanilla sugar
- Juice of a large orange
- Mandarin or Clementine oranges, sliced.
METHOD: Rocket-science this:
- Put everything (except the mandarins) into the large pot. You can do this as early as you like – the flavour will only improve if you let it sit before heating)
- About an hour before you’re ready to serve, heat it gently until it’s hot – try your best NOT to let it boil.
- Stir occasionally, then taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Then strain the cider, saving the spices in case you need another pot! Rinse out the pot, and return the cider to it, cover, and put on a very gentle heat.
- Add the sliced mandarins shortly before serving.
- Keep the spices in a bowl nearby in case you need a more than one pot.
- I find serving from a ladle a very messy business, especially if you’re busy talking to people, checking ovens for warmed nibbles, etc. If you have an insulated jug, it’s really useful for such an occasion. If not, try decanting it into a sturdy pottery jug, and fill several glasses at a time.
- The second pot: Put the previously used spices into the pot, add the ingredients as before, except the nutmeg, and bring immediately to heat. Again, don’t let it boil. Strain and discard the spices this time. Taste and adjust seasoning, add freshly cut mandarin slices to serve.
- If you have a drop of Calvados or Apple brandy handy, a small amount will really enhance this.