We have mulled wine through Winter Wonderland so you can continue that feeling at home with mulled cider. A warming and Christmassy drink which means you won’t be running around making numerous different drinks for everyone. Just offer your guests a mulled cider as they come through the door (they will already be able to smell the winter spices wafting through the house) and I promise you 90% of them will accept.
It is an altogether more pleasing drink than mulled wine, and if you add an optional shot of brandy to the mix, your gathering will be very merry. For the kids, teetotallers and drivers there is a delicious non-alcoholic version too.
My bonus tip is that you can keep it warm in a slow cooker, ladling out a glassful when needed, or leave some in a coffee pot, warming by the fire for top-ups.
3 litres of Dry Cider
2 star anise
1 split vanilla pod
A good grating of nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
Juice of 3 or 4 clementines
Peeled zest of 1 clementine
6-8 dessert spoons of caster sugar
1 Sliced orange
1 Sliced apple – pips removed
For a party:
Optional addition of brandy
1 Heat the cider in a large pan until it just starts to boil
2 Add the mulling spices and allow to simmer for 5 minutes
3 Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves
4 Test the sweetness and flavour and add a little honey if it needs to be sweeter
5 Turn off the heat and add a splash of brandy if you want to
6 Remove the star anise (to stop the flavour getting too strong) and add the pretty bits before you serve
7 You can pour it into a slow cooker to keep warm, or pour into teapot to warm by the fire
8 Pour or ladle into glasses that are strong enough to take a little heat
Non-alcoholic Mulled Cider
1 As above but replace the cider with apple juice
2 Reduce the sugar to 3-4 dessert spoons
3 Don’t add the brandy!
It’s not too late to book your festive break at Center Parcs.