mulled cider

I held off fall for as long as I could, mostly because I hadn’t (and still haven’t!) gotten my fill of fresh tomatoes. Plus I don’t like to be cold. But I can’t deny it anymore – there’s a chill in the air, and the trees are looking absolutely beautiful. It’s time for cider.

I looked up a few recipes for mulled cider, and they were all basically the same. But the first recipe I made, Ina Garten’s, was too sweet and not spicy enough. The next time, I eliminated all of the orange juice and just added the peel without the juice. Dave and I agreed that it was still two orangey, so I cut down the amount of peel even more. I also increased all of the spices, plus added one that wasn’t in the original recipe – allspice, which was perfect with the cider.

Ina’s recipe says to simmer for just 5 to 10 minutes, which doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to extract much flavor from whole spices. Most of the reviewers said that they simmered the mixture for far longer, and I agree with them. I generally brought the cider to a hard simmer, then turned off the heat, covered it, and forgot about it for an hour or so. Then Dave would say “didn’t you make cider?” and I’d remember and be excited and drink some and love October.

Hot Mulled Cider (adapted from Ina Garten)

Serves 4-6

8 cups (½ gallon) pure apple juice or fresh apple cider
2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
2 star anise
6 allspice berries
2 strips orange zest, removed with vegetable peeler, each strip about 2 inches long by ½-inch wide, cleaned of any white pith

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes. Pour into mugs, straining if desired, and serve.

Comments

  1. manggy says:

    It’s 30°C here (86°F) but that still looks really comforting :) (hmm, maybe it’ll rain for my benefit, heh) I confess I have no idea what “mull” means :P

  2. Kira says:

    Yum, that sounds wonderful for fall weather.

  3. RecipeGirl says:

    We could drink this at night, or maybe early in the AM, but it has still been rather summery during the day here :(

    I love a good cup of cider… nice that you kept trying until you reached just the right flavor.

  4. ashlee says:

    that sounds so good, i’m freeeezing! i absolutely love star anise, it’s so pretty, beautiful photos!

  5. Isa says:

    Haha… I guess that if I drink some cider now I would kind of hate October, cause here it’s freaking hot!
    Anyway, your cider looks delicious… and the photos are great!

  6. nikkigladd says:

    Nice blog! And lovely photos!

  7. bunnies4buddha says:

    Believe it or not, I always add a dash of whiskey to my cider. It adds and extra layer of warmth and bit of spice ;P

  8. bridget says:

    B4B – Such a good idea! I saw a recipe that added apple brandy and I thought that sounded good, but I was too lazy to buy some.

  9. Natalie says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. :)

    Love the blog- just wanted to let you know that I linked you!

    http://ovenlove.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-favorites-food-blogs-and-websites.html

  10. Vibi says:

    Hummm… not being American, nor Anglophone, pure apple juice and fresh apple cider are the same to me. I always thought cider was alcoholic and that pure apple juice was non-pasteurized or non-filtered juice. So I will go to bed less stupid tonight, having learnt that Americans (and probably some Canadians) call pure apple juice – fresh apple cider… but I’m not even sure I can sort it out in my mind, yet! LOL
    Thanks for making me look and learn!
    OH! by the way… have you ever had spicy mulled red wine? A must, if you enjoy mulled cider!

  11. bridget says:

    Vibi – I can definitely see the confusion. We call the alcohol stuff “hard cider”. Apple juice is a sugary, not-very-apply drink.

    I have had mulled wine! My husband and I have made it at Thanksgiving for the last couple of years. We’ve been wanting to make it again soon.

  12. colleen says:

    This looks so cozy! And what beautiful pictures!

  13. Calypso says:

    Thanks for reminding me of this oldie-but-goodie. My grandmother made this all the time.

  14. Mary Brogdon says:

    Thank you for this recipe…sounds just perfect for right now. I find I don’t like Miss Ina’s recipes so I’m glad you’ve adapted this one for me.

  15. Sarah says:

    I just made this for Christmas morning breakfast! It was a very simple recipe with delicious results!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Mulled Cider: I generally brought the cider to a hard simmer, then turned off the heat, covered it, and forgot about it for an hour or so. Then Dave would say “didn’t you make cider?” and I’d remember and be excited and drink some and love October. Recipe found at The Way The Cookie Crumbles. [...]

  2. [...] Hot Mulled Cider: (Serves 4 to 6) Pure apple juice or fresh apple cider; cinnamon sticks; whole cloves; star anise; allspice berries; orange zest. I looked up a few recipes for mulled cider, and they were all basically the same. But the first recipe I made, Ina Garten’s, was too sweet and not spicy enough. The next time, I eliminated all of the orange juice and just added the peel without the juice. Dave and I agreed that it was still two orangey, so I cut down the amount of peel even more. I also increased all of the spices, plus added one that wasn’t in the original recipe – allspice, which was perfect with the cider. From The Way The Cookie Crumbles. [...]

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