When I heard that Edinburgh Christmas market has been cancelled this year, and in all likelihood others will be too i was pretty gutted. an annual trip up there for mulled ciders, mulled wine and browsing the stalls is a tradition, so like plenty of other things this year I decided to bring it home instead. I realise it’s nowhere near Christmas yet but I’m starting things early to get the practice in, and this easy mulled cider recipe is perfect for not just Christmas but cold autumn nights in on the sofa with a blanket.
I must have read four or five recipes online and through Pinterest for how to make this, many of which need a crockpot, or that throw in all sorts of strange ingredients. Truthfully I can’t be bothered with all that, or fannying about trying to get it clear, or cloudy, sweeter, spiked with a brandy or whiskey…bla bla.
I prefer just really simple easy recipes that don’t require any additional purchases of equipment or hard to get ingredients so this was a bog standard, easy, throw it all together situation based on the general idea of mulling cider and however it turns out will be just fine. Cloudy or clear? I wasn’t bothered as long as it tasted good, and it really did.
In case you aren’t aware mulled anything is basically the infusion of cider or wine with spices to add a lot of flavour.
This recipe served 2 of us 3 drinks each, but you can always add more based on however many of you are joining in for drinks.
Knife and chopping board
Lots of recipes say you need a crockpot, a strainer, cooking wire and filter paper but I didn’t use any of them. I’ll explain at the end in case you do want to get more technical.
4 cans apple cider – any make as long as it’s apple cider. I used Thatchers
4 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
About 1 tbsp of cloves
The spices can all be found in your local supermarket in the normal spice section
Chop the apple into wedges and the orange into slices. You could also use lemon if you like.
Pour the cans of apple cider into the pan and heat on a low heat – this is really important not to heat up too high. Don’t let it bubble just heat up.
Put in the apple wedges. orange slices and the spices straight away
Star anise gives a liquorice/Sambuca smell and I’m not really a fan, so I only used 3 but add more if you want
Heat and stir all the ingredients for at least an hour
Ladle into a glass to serve
For garnish take any of the ingredients in the pan to add to it, I used a cinnamon stick and apple wedge, but orange or star anise would be nice too. Avoid the cloves, if you’ve used a lot you might need to strain them out.
We had our first glass after an hour of heating and stirring and it was cloudy, but tasted quite mild. It was still lovely though, definitely mulled not just warm cider and the whole kitchen smelled amazing from the steam coming off the pan.
The longer you leave the spices in the cider the more infused with flavour and cloudy it becomes. Our second and third glasses later in the day were so much nicer after leaving it for longer.
Tweaks you could make
If you want to make it stronger or add more flavour you could spike it at the point of serving with brandy or whisky.
If you would prefer a clear cider, and I’m not sure why anyone would be fussy, then put all the spices into a filter bag and tie up, to put in the cider as it heats rather than having all the ingredients mixed in.
For kids you could use apple juice rather than cider.
If you want to make it sweet add brown sugar to the recipe until it’s dissolved too. I can’t think of anything worse but some people like things really sweet.
All in all my approach of throwing everything in as it was and heating on a low heat for a minimum of 2 hours worked perfectly, was a lot less effort and was a roaring success for my first time making it. I’ll absolutely be making it most weekends from now on, and I might even get some squirty cream and ground cinnamon for on top.
Once it gets to the 1st December I’ll also be getting out the Christmas market mugs from previous years to serve it in too, for extra festive-ness.
There you have it, an easy mulled cider recipe to see you through the dark winter nights. Enjoy!
Other posts you might like
Pin this post: