Mulled Apple and Cranberry Apple Cider

Cider is one of my favorite things.  Especially during the fall and Christmas seasons, when the air is filled with sugar and spice, and this sweet and spicy beverage just makes you feel a part of it all.

Today I am going to teach you how to make two different kinds of cider, the latter being my favorite, since I love things nice and tart.  If you like the flavor of this cider but prefer it a little sweeter, don’t worry!  You can always add a little honey, maple syrup, or sugar to sweeten it.  

One note before I get into this– Try to get cider that has not already been mulled or spiced at all.  You want this to be your own.  🙂  Cider is the much preferred choice, but you can also use apple juice in its place (it will just make a sweeter cider). 

 Mulled Apple Cider
2 liters apple cider
1 whole naval orange OR
    1/2 naval orange + 1/2 grapefruit or lemon
3 whole cinnamon sticks
Whole cloves

  Cut the orange or citrus into thick slices (I usually cut one orange into 4 slices).  Press 5-8 cloves into each citrus slice; set them aside.

  In a large pot, combine the citrus pieces, cinnamon sticks, and cold cider, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 2 hours (taste testing to determine how spicy you want it).  Remove and discard the citrus and cinnamon when the cider is spiced to your liking (leaving them in there too long will make a bitter cider).

 

  Serve hot, and enjoy!  I like to save the cinnamon sticks from mulling the cider and use it as a stir-stick garnish.  The heat and moisture cause the cinnamon to expand, and I think it looks really cool when it’s done.  

I recommend this served with a good book or movie.  🙂

Store leftovers in the fridge, and reheat as necessary.  
And now, on to the next recipe:

Mulled Cranberry Apple Cider
2 liters apple cider
1 jug (approx. 2 liters) cranberry juice
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 whole naval orange OR
    1/2 naval orange + 1/2 grapefruit or lemon
3 whole cinnamon sticks
Whole cloves
2-4 Wooden skewers

  Slide the whole cranberries onto your wooden skewers and set aside. 

 

  Cut the orange or citrus into thick slices (I usually cut one orange into 4 slices).  Press 5-8 cloves into each citrus slice; set them aside.

  In a large pot, combine the cranberry skewers, citrus pieces, cinnamon sticks, cold cider, and cranberry juice, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 2 hours (taste testing to determine how spicy you want it).  Remove and discard the citrus and cinnamon when the cider is spiced to your liking (leaving them in there too long will make a bitter cider).

  You can either slide the soft cranberries off of the skewers and leave them in the cider for serving, or pull the skewers out with the berries and discard them.  Some of the berries will fall off of the skewers as you simmer the cider, so if you want them out, you’ll have to fish them out with a slotted spoon.

  
 

 Serve hot, and enjoy!  You can also cut some skewers in half and thread them with cranberries for a stir-stick garnish, and again, one of the cinnamon sticks from the pot.

 

Store leftovers in the fridge, and reheat as necessary.  

And, once again, this is best served with a good book or a movie.  Here’s a movie recommendation, should you care to look up of my favorites; Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” is great.  🙂

 
How do you plan to enjoy this cider?  On your own?  With a group of friends?  I’d love to hear about it.  Oh, and if you make it, let me know how it turns out. 

Thanks for reading!  Back next week.

–Naomi

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