With the cold winter weather I love drinking nice warm drinks. I have been making mulled wine recently Homemade mulled wine and here is a twist to that recipe Mulled cider. While researching for mulled cider recipe I found out that cider is known as apple juice in the US and hard cider is cider. How odd?!!
1 liter of cider (I use Aspall cider) (in the US cider is known as scumpy or hard cider)
2 Bay leaf fresh or dried
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
! whole nutmeg
1 vanilla pod halved
1 promegranate seeds and flesh only (optional but I love a bit of texture in this drink)
! cup (250 mls) water
3 tablespoon of sugar
100 mls sloe gin (optional but highly recommended)
Peel the lemon skin with a vegetable knife (I find that it works best) into strips. It’s only the skin that is needed none of the flesh. Cut the clemetines into half and squeeze the juice out. Keep the squeezed clementine skins and flesh aside.
In a large sauce pan add the sugar, the pieces of lemon peel. squeezed clementine juice and clementine skins. Just leave the seeds out if there is any. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and star anise. Finally add about 10 shavings of nutmeg on the grater. Do use nutmeg powder if makes life easier. Add the halved vanilla pod and stir in about 100- 150 mls of cider and water (about 300 mls) to cover the sugar. The water will evaporate with the high heat.
Let all of these ingredients to simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved. Keep on boiling for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until you have got a beautiful syrup. The reason for doing this is to get the flavours of the sugar and spices infuse together with the cider. It is important to do the syrup base first as it needs to be quite hot to get to a bit of syrupy consistency.
Making a sugar syrup
If you boil all of the cider together with the high heat it will burn off the alcohol in the cider. When the syrup is ready turn down the heat. It will have a lovely Christmas aroma as well. Add all of the cider and sloe gin if use. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes. When the mulled cider is warm, ladle into glasses and serve. Below is a layout of how to serve with slices of autumn and winter fruits like apple or pear.