Looking through recipe books and scouring websites, there are many Mulled Wine recipes all of them purporting to be “Christmas in a glass” served on stoves next to roaring log fires in Alpine ski lodges but I have to be honest and say that I am glad to have found a cider version of this tradition of mulling drinks.
Christmassy, warming and silky – this drink will kick off any evening to a festive start.
Let’s be honest; mulled wine can sometimes taste a bit like cough syrup! The first mouthful can be beautiful but every sip from then on becomes one out of politeness and not necessarily enjoyment; I find that the minute it drops below a certain temperature it then actually becomes quite sickly and you’re never sure if a top up would be a good idea or not.
However, mulled cider, still embodying the tradition of a Christmassy spiced, warming drink has none of the negative connotations that mulled wine brings. It still has the traditional flavours of cinnamon and clove you want at this time of year but they are the subtle backnote to a fruity and fizzy December cocktail.
|1 Litre of dry Cider
1 Tblspn soft dark brown sugar
A decent splosh of dark rum
A teacup of raspberry tea
3 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
½ tspn of vanilla paste
A rasp of nutmeg
2nd: Pour the litre of cider into a saucepan and place on a low heat. Pick a decent cider – no White Lightning here!
3rd: Cut the clementines in half, some people stud the skin with the cloves. Add these to the pan.
4th: Crush the cardamom pods under the weight of your knife, and add these, the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and any other spices you wish to the pan.
5th: Pour in the fruit tea, dark rum and vanilla paste.
6th: Add a table spoon of soft dark brown sugar and allow the flavours to infuse. Serve in a glass with a rasp of nutmeg over.
If at any point the clove or cinnamon become overpowering remove them from the pan. You have to control this as it really is a matter of taste.
You need to give this recipe a go, especially if you don’t like mulled wine. I have tinkered with a few ingredients to suit what I had in the cupboard at the time but feel free to go with whatever spice you prefer. A dare say an apple and cinnamon tea would also be amazing but I used Red Berry Blush which works very well here.