Nothing goes with a fine fall day and the smell of smoke in the air quite like mulled apple cider. There is something essential and soothing in its warm, spiced scent that reaches right down to your toes.
It was a simple plan. ‘Let’s have the guys from the kitchen over for a backyard fire pit afternoon’ I said. ‘We’ll roast a couple of hot dogs,’ I said’ it’ll be fun’. I never planned on the staging or the electrical rigging and live jam session that a quiet afternoon by the fire morphed into. That was the dream child of the chef in my life, it included an impromptu purchase of a drum kit off Kijiji. (A set of drums now lives in our closet!)
You can fight these things (and live with the resulting pouting) or you can shake your head repeatedly muttering ‘ohmygod’ as he drags home pallets, plywood and power tools and enjoy the unexpected. Then make something tasty and warm that defines the season and makes for great Thanksgiving weekend memories; mulled apple cider.
Mulling is so simple, just add your favorite combination of warm spices, a hint of citrus and a good quality, sweet, fresh apple cider. Toss everything in a pot, give it a quick boil, steep, filter (optional), and then add a splash of hooch (for those hooch included).
Personally, I’m pro-hooch, but your mulled cider (spiked vs.virgin) is up to you.
Mulled Apple Cider
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
4 cups (1 liter/quart) apple cider
1 orange, thinly sliced
Zest of one lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, whole
8 cloves, whole
4 pods cardamon, whole
10 coriander seeds, whole
In a large pot, add cider, spices and citrus and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally to keep your spices from scorching than remove from heat and steep for anywhere from 20 minutes – 4 hours. At this point you can filter if you’re so inclined to sift out all the cloudy bits using a coffee filter or tea ball, Personally, I love the cloudy, bits of spice, apple pulp and citrus.
To serve, reheat, drag it into the backyard and ladle straight form the pot, avoiding the solids at the bottom. Add your favorite apple friendly booze. One might recommend a good demerara rum, a decent whiskey, a splash of brandy, or go all apple and pick up a bottle of Calvados , which is a great addition to your apple pie. (Mmmmm, pie…)
Mulled Apple Cider, a true flavour of fall.