This year I thought I would have a go at making mulled cider. I’m not sure why I haven’t tried this before especially as every Autumn we make cider from surplus apples on our own trees. Having made it once, one thing is for sure, it will not be the last time and this Christmas Eve I will be serving both mulled wine and mulled cider to my guests.
I liked the idea of mulling the cider with ginger, as apple and ginger are such a good combination. To this I added a hint of star anise and cinnamon. If you don’t have star anise, a few cloves will give a nice spiciness. The end result is lighter than mulled wine yet with a lovely warming flavour of ginger that doesn’t overpower. For a little bit more of a kick you could add a good slug of brandy.
When served warm, it is a delicious winter drink, but also surprisingly good served cold. In addition, it’s cheaper and lower in alcohol than mulled wine. All in all well worth giving a try.
I like it! Do you?
As with mulled wine, the trick is to avoid boiling the mixture since this will drive off all the alcohol and will spoil the flavour. Keep it barely simmering, so that the cider is hot with just the occasional bubble rising to the surface.
- 1 lemon
- 300 ml apple juice
- 50 g caster sugar
- 2-3 cm piece root ginger peeled and sliced
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 11/2 litre cider
- 2-3 tbsp brandy optional
Pare the the zest from the lemon with a potato peeler or sharp knife. Take care not to include too much of the white pith. Squeeze the juice.
Place the apple and lemon juice in a large pan and add the sugar. Heat gently, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add the spices and leave to simmer for a few minutes.
Add the cider, and heat until it is just beginning to simmer. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for at least 15 minutes. Do not allow it to boil. Serve hot in sturdy glasses.