A Drop of Cider Will Do Ya

There’s nothing like a warm drink on a snowy day to set a cozy scene. And there’s nothing I love more than cozy. Today’s scene-setting drink is none other than the classic mulled apple cider. Trust me, it’s just as good after the holidays as before. Mike is the master of the mulled cider in our household, so, in the spirit of giving full credit, this is his recipe and I’m just the taste tester/scribe.

It’s the kind of cider Sandra Lee would be proud of – almost home made, and as far as I can tell, it’s just as good as the from-scratch version. Mulling is essentially just warming and adding sugar and spice (and everything nice :) ha! couldn’t help myself!); it can be done to wine, cider, etc. And it’s simple!

We start with a gallon jug of apple cider (this is the not-home-made part), it’s just the grocery store bought kind. Pour ‘er into a stock pot over medium-low heat.

Next, we spice it up. The measurements are totally approximate and feel free to tweak ratios to suit your palette. I think it’s pretty hard to mess up. All of these ingredients get tied up in cheesecloth.

In our sack-o-spice we’ve got:

  • brown sugar (~ 1/3 cup)
  • allspice (~ 1 tsp)
  • cloves (~ 1 tsp)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (broken in half)
  • a couple dashes of nutmeg

The wrapped up spices get thrown into the pot along with a half-peeled orange, which, by the miracle of buoyancy, looks not peeled at all in the pot:

Cover and bring to a light boil. Then, uncover, lower the heat to a light simmer and let the spicy-sweet smell intoxicate your home for a good hour.

Sneak a couple of spoonfuls while your husband is in the other room.

Remove the orange and the spices, and before you know it, you’ll be on the couch huddled over a warm cup of cider watching Love, Wedding, Marriage on Netflix.

Cozy, indeed.