We are just 8 short days out from Thanksgiving and yes, I’m counting! We actually have a countdown going in our family group text for how many days until my parents arrive from Florida. As of today, that number is six. They’ll arrive on Tuesday and the week-long festivities will begin! My dad doesn’t take the cold weather very well, so when my parents arrive I like to make sure that there is a warm, cozy meal ready for them. This year, I’ll be putting a Mulled Spiked Cider in their hands as soon as they walk through the door.
What makes it Mulled?
It’s easy to elevate the flavor of apple cider by adding just a few fruits and spices. We’re talking clove, cinnamon, citrus and nutmeg. It all goes into a big pot that you’ll warm gently on the stove and just let it hang out for a while so the flavors can mellow. The easiest way to do this is to make a little satchel out of cheesecloth, fill it with the mulling spices and tie it with kitchen twine. Then you can just throw the satchel into the pot of cider. Sometimes I don’t have cheesecloth on hand so I’ll just let everything float around in the cider, then run it through a strainer when I’m ready to serve it.
Start a pot of mulled cider early in the day and let the aromas fill your kitchen all day long. There’s no alcohol in the actual cider, so it’s perfect for the kids when they come in from playing in the leaves or snow. For the grown ups, you can add the alcohol, in the form of spiced rum, just before serving. I think the only time I really ever drink spiced rum is when I make Mulled Spiked Cider in the fall, and maybe one other time around the Super Bowl when I make Kickoff Cocktails. But although spiced rum doesn’t get too much use in our house, there’s nothing else I would put in Mulled Spiked Cider – it totally makes the drink!
The drink of the season
Mulled Spiked Cider makes a great roadie if you’re going to an outdoor tree lighting or a nighttime football game (concealed in a travel mug, obvi). It’s a warm way to welcome guests into your home from the cold, and a cozy mug to warm up with next to a fire. I promise your entire family will love it. Enjoy!
- 1 gallon apple cider
- 6 whole nutmeg
- 1/4 cup whole cloves
- 2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1/2 orange, sliced
- 1/2 lemon, sliced
- Spiced rum
- Cheesecloth (optional)
- Cinnamon/sugar mixture for rimming (optional)
Lay a piece of cheesecloth on a flat surface. Place mulling spices, ginger and fruit in the center of the square, then gather into a satchel and tie with kitchen twine.
Fill a large pot with the apple cider and add the satchel of mulling spices. If not using cheesecloth, drop mulling spices, ginger and fruit into the cider. Warm over low heat for 1 hour and up to several hours.
Remove cheesecloth and discard. If not using cheesecloth, strain the cider into a pitcher. Pour into individual mugs and add 1-2 shots of spiced rum per mug.