Hutch’s Happy Hour – Mulled Cider
With Autumn officially here, from a meteorological perspective, evenings will soon start getting darker and temperatures cooling. To ensure you’re well prepared with a warm comforting drink in your arsenal to enjoy during such times, I thought I’d introduce you all my own mulled cider recipe… yes, that’s right… mulled cider! Christmas may be a little way off, and don’t get me wrong this will go down a treat during the festive season; but I’m here to tell you that mulled cider is not just for Christmas people. Imagine an evening wrapped up outside by the fire pit, toasting marshmallows for s’mores with a mug of mulled cider by your side. Sounds like a great way to spend an autumn evening to me! Or a late afternoon walk along the beach or through a country park one cool crisp Autumn day…how could this be improved? A thermos flask filled with mulled cider of course!
[Disclaimer – if you have to drive to your favourite location for a walk then it’s the alcohol-free version for you I’m afraid; and please only drink in areas you’re legally allowed to]
So on to the recipe…this as I say is a recipe I’ve come up with myself through trial, error and a little inspiration from other recipes online. The beauty of this is you can easily tailor it to suit your personal tastes and what you have in the cupboards. Don’t like the taste of cloves…leave them out; don’t have maple syrup…use regular granulated sugar instead. The choice is yours, but I think this is a great tasting recipe and a good starting point for your own experimentation.
Mulled Cider Ingredients
- 500ml cider [Hutch’s recommendation – Healey’s Rattler – Cornish Cloudy Cyder]
- 15cm cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp coriander seeds
- ¼ of a whole nutmeg – roughly chopped
- 2 star anise
- ½ large orange – cut into segments
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
How to make mulled cider
- Heat up a dry saucepan over a medium-low heat and toast all the spices for 2-3 minutes. Keep them moving to ensure they don’t burn
- Pour in your cider, add the orange segments, and bring to a gentle simmer
- Once simmering; add the maple syrup and vanilla, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let the cider boil.
- Sieve out the spices and orange segments and you’re ready to serve.
And if you’re after some added warmth, why not add a tbsp of dark rum into your mug before pouring your cider.
Alcohol Free Variation – instead of using cider, this works perfectly well with apple juice. I would recommend a cloudy apple juice and if you find it sweet enough on its own then omit the maple syrup from the recipe. Remember, you can always add a little more sweetness once mulled if you want.
Whilst mulled cider seems to have only risen in popularity in recent years. Now, very much a staple of any Christmas market alongside Mulled wine (or Glühwein for the German theme markets); often “spiked” with a cheeky shot of amaretto or even rum. It turns out that it’s been a drink for the festive period for as long as mulled wine. The introduction/accessibility of German Christmas markets and the Glühwein that comes with them appears to have pushed the spicy cider concoction, and the more traditional English mulled wine, into the shadows.
Mulled cider in fact dates back before mulled wine to the old Pagan ceremony of Wassailing. Traditionally celebrated on twelfth night the word comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’. The drink of choice to accompany the festivity was made from mulled ale, roasted apples, curdled cream, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. Now I can see where the link lies with the mulled cider we know and love today but I for one will be sticking to the modern variant.
Until next time… I wish you all good health… Waes hael!!!!!