Mulled Apple Cider with Warm Winter Spices, Cayenne & Hibiscus

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Mulled Apple Cider with Warm Winter Spices, Cayenne & Hibiscus

Muled Cider New  Mulled Apple Cider with Warm Winter Spices, Cayenne & Hibiscus

Have you ever wondered what “mulled” actually means? As in Mulled Apple Cider? I always assumed that it meant heated and indeed, as I just confirmed via the fantabulous web, that is precisely what it means. Or almost. Heated with spices is more exact. Thus, Hot Mulled Cider is really a bit redundant. If it’s mulled, it’s hot.
But here’s the thing. There are a thousand recipes on the web for Mulled Apple Cider and they are basically much the same: apple cider, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and maybe orange slices or orange peel. It’s a winning combination, for sure.  Nonetheless, I am always looking for interesting ways to enhance a standard, so am pushing the mulled apple cider envelope a bit here. And the result, I assure you, is divine!
SERVING NOTE If you are serving this to a group of adults, all of whom can imbibe alcohol, you may want to add all of the optional liquor to the brew. However, I think it’s more practical to leave it out and then add it for those who want it. Typically, I make a gallon at a time and store it in the refrigerator. In the middle of the day, I drink it as is. In the evening, after my work is complete, I may top it off with an excellent Calvados. Ahhhh… is there any season more magical than Fall?

 

INGREDIENT NOTE You can get dried hibiscus in health-oriented markets, usually in the help-yourself spice and herb jars section. It’s not absolutely essential here but does add a lovely red color and astringency that help to balance the sweetness of the cider. Skip it if you don’t have it on hand.

1 whole nutmeg

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 whole star anise

I teaspoon cardamom pods, pods removed

2 Mexican (canela) cinnamon sticks, broken apart

1 tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers

½ teaspoon cayenne chile flakes, or 1 teaspoon if you want it spicier

2 quarts fresh apple cider (local if possible; not from concentrate, no additives, unpasteurized if possible)

¼ cup dark brown sugar

zest of two oranges

garnish: 1 orange peel twist and 1 canela cinnamon stick per serving

optional: 1 ounce Calvados, Armagnac, Cognac, or Applejack per 8-ounce serving

  1. Put the nutmeg in a Ziploc bag, seal, set the bag on a cutting board, and then smash the nutmeg into small pieces by pounding fairly hard with a mallet. Reserve.
  2. Put the cloves, allspice, star anise, cardamom seeds in a mortar and grind coarsely with a pestle. (Or grind coarsely in an electric spice grinder.)
  3. Add the apple cider, sugar and orange zest to medium saucepan, along with all of the spices and cayenne, and bring to a bare simmer.
  4. Barely simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
  5. Strain and add back to a clean saucepan. Keep warm over low heat while serving.
  6. Ladle about 8-ounces of mulled cider into a 10-ounce clear glass mug. If you are serving with the optional liquor, add it now, and stir.
  7. Garnish with orange rind and a cinnamon stick. Serve hot.

 

MORE I just put the finishing touches (for now anyway) on the Apple Cider Primer. For selection, season, storage, hardening, cooking information, as well as a honed list of excellent resources, check it out.

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

Comments

  1. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Well now I too know what mulled means. I think I would like it hot. It would be good for your body as well. With Cayenne and other spices.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Michael Manahan’s Botany Bay, featuring gin, St. Germain and hibiscus syrup. Hibiscus Sangria Hibiscus Basil Lemonade, naturally non-alcoholic – but you can fix that in an ounce! Hibiscus Mint Rum Granita Hibiscus Mulled Cider […]

  2. […] Mulled Apple Cider with Warm Winter Spices, Cayenne & Hibiscus: (Makes approx. 8 cups) Whole nutmeg; whole cloves; whole allspice; whole star anise; cardamom pods; 2 Mexican (canela) cinnamon sticks; dried hibiscus flowers; cayenne chile flakes; fresh apple cider; dark brown sugar; orange zest; optional: 1 ounce Calvados, Armagnac, Cognac, or Applejack per 8-ounce serving. There are a thousand recipes on the web for Mulled Apple Cider and they are basically much the same: apple cider, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and maybe orange slices or orange peel. It’s a winning combination, for sure. Nonetheless, I am always looking for interesting ways to enhance a standard, so am pushing the mulled apple cider envelope a bit here. And the result, I assure you, is divine! Recipe from The Luna Cafe. […]

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