An autumn and winter favourite of mine has to be hot alcoholic drinks! Whether it’s mulled wine, Winter Pimm’s or Baileys Hot Chocolate, there’s something heart-warming about a hot beverage on a cold evening. It may be that that it is the alcohol that I particularly love – and that could be something I need some help with, but let’s deal with that another time… (Everything in moderation! -Ed)
A particular favourite is Mulled Cider! The new kid on the block, mulled cider can now be found in many a pub or bar (particular where I live in Brighton, UK, where everyone is obsessed with cider), but it’s real easy to make at home. It’s always present at my Christmas parties and it goes down a charm with my guests. It also gets extra points because if it’s spilled by a slightly inebriated friend (you know who you are!), it’s a lot less likely to stain than, say, mulled red wine.
Here’s a recipe – and it does the trick every time…
- 2 litres of apple cider
- 1 orange
- 10 cloves
- 2-3 apples
- 4 sticks of cinnamon
- 10 all spice berries
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 7 cardamom pods
- 100g of sugar
- Pour the apple cider into a saucepan. It doesn’t have to be expensive cider as it all gets mixed in together (but probably not the cheapest either)! Try something middle of the road: if you’re in the UK, Id recommend Sainsbury’s Vintage Cider – it’s not too expensive but has a lovely taste when mulled.
- Turn to heat to medium-high to start heating the cider
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel large strips of orange peel
- Push half the cloves through the orange peel
- Cut the rest of the orange into large slices
- Cut up the apples into large chunks
- Add the orange peel-cloves strips, the rest of the cloves and all the other ingredients to the pan
- Simmer on a low heat and cover for about 20 mins
Voila! Perfect cider every time!
A little trick of the trade – don’t overcook your mulled cider or try to make it too long in advance; in my experience it evaporates quite quickly and all you will be left with is about one shot glass of cider. And of course, after you’ve made this once you can adjust most of the ingredients to suit your taste and just experiment with some new ones.
This article was written for the online version of Guru Magazine, in which I have been running a series as Food Guru on ‘Do-It-Yourself: Molecular Gastronomy‘ – showing you how to mix a bit of scientific know-how with some culinary passion! Issue Three’s (out December 1st) recipes will be something sweet and very indulgent for the festive season… The Guru Team have seen it, and we promise you won’t be disappointed!