I am undoubtedly a cider fan all year round, but I think the festive period rekindles my love for scrumpy every year. Cider, or even locally produced, organic apple juice, is fantastic in mulled form, enhanced by yuletide spices, and sweetened perfectly with honey.
Living in Somerset, I am spoilt with a fantastic range of locally produced, traditional West Country ciders. For my mulled cider recipe I have opted for Burrow Hill medium dry cider, produced only a stone’s throw away from my front door. Although I am a fan of dry ciders in particular, when it comes to mulled cider, I favour a sweeter taste. Simply by adding a couple of spoonfuls of runny honey enhances the Christmas spices as it simmers gently on the stove. The cider or juice in which you choose, as well as your preferred pallet, will influence the amount of honey you stir into your recipe.
Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices, and a vital component of your festive pantry. Along with a handful of cloves, the festive aromas fill the kitchen, perfect for setting the scene for a yuletide party, or a cosy night in with the family. Squeezing in fresh orange not only adds traditional Christmas essence, it creates a light and fragrant change to a traditional mulled wine.
This recipe is so quick and simple it is sure to become a festive staple with your household. It is the perfect accompaniment to sweetened and toasted nuts, a classic after-dinner cheese board, or even enjoyed with a warm mince pie. This winter warmer is a brilliant non-alcoholic drink without missing out on the fantastic, traditional mulled flavours, to be enjoyed any time of day, or for the unfortunate ‘designated driver’!.
- 1lt Apple juice/dry cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cloves
- Strips of orange peel – plus juice of half the orange
- Pour the cider or juice in a heavy bottom pan and place on a medium heat.
- Add the cinnamon, cloves and orange peel, before cutting the orange in half and squeezing in the juice of half the orange. With the remaining orange, slice into rings and also add to the pan (more orange may be required in your serving glasses).
- Allow your apple to simmer very lightly for 10minutes (do not allow to boil). Stir in honey to taste, allowing to dissolve, then serve into warm glasses.