Mulled Apple Cider is a fabulous hot beverage that will warm your soul on a chilly day. It’s also a great way to use some of those yummy new apples that just fell off the tree.
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For those of you who do not know, I grew up on a farm. Besides having fruit trees such as peach, pear, crabapple, and cherry, we also had several apple trees. One year, my parents bought an apple press to make their own homemade, organic, unprocessed, unfiltered, apple cider. I can not begin to tell you just how amazing that cider tasted! If I told you that it was a breeze to make, I would be lying. However, that homemade apple cider was worth every ounce of effort! If there happened to be any leftover (which was rare), Mom would freeze it so that we could make a delicious slushy apple icy drink. Yeah, it was amazing too! I do not remember my parents making Mulled Apple Cider, however, I do know that their homemade cider would be absolutely fabulous in this recipe.
If you want to create the best Mulled Apple Cider possible, quality spices and quality apple cider/juice are key. If possible, pay a visit to a local apple orchard and purchase a gallon of fresh apple cider. It really will make a difference in the end result. However, if you do not have access to a local orchard, feel free to use apple juice instead. Either will work fine.
There are various methods used when cooking ingredients for mulled cider. Some people have no problem with their cider being a bit cloudy, while others prefer a clearer look. If you do not care how cloudy your drink appears, then simple add all of your ingredients to a stockpot or large saucepan. Bring the mixture to just under the boiling point, then reduce the heat to low and allow the cider to simmer for approximately 30 minutes. The longer the mulled cider simmers, the more it will reduce because of evaporation.
You can quickly turn this Mulled Apple Cider into a boozy drink by adding a splash of rum, brandy, cinnamon schnapps, vodka or whiskey.
If you prefer your cider to be on the clearer side, then place all of the spices onto a double thickness of cheesecloth. Carefully gather all four corners of the cheesecloth and tie the ends together with cooking twine. Add the bag of spices to the apple cider/juice and simmer mixture for 30 minutes. Discard the spice bag. Using a stainless steel strainer, strain cider mixture, dip into mugs. For garnish, add a thinly sliced apple, a couple whole cloves, an anise star pod, slice of lemon, a tiny Seckel pear and whole cinnamon sticks. Serve.
Since we have several in our immediate family that are on a gluten free and/or low-carb diet, Anna and I are infamous for modifying a recipe to be gluten free. Therefore, we are never offended and actually encourage others to feel free to modify ours. Consequently, we hope that you have fun creating your very own Mulled Apple Cider.
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