I only know it’s Spring by browsing the many of Spring recipes out there – asparagus, artichokes, spring peas. *sighs* See, that’s snow outside my window. Better yet, that’s Warm Mulled Cider, inside.
Fragrant with spice and citrus, don’t be afraid to spike with a bit of Apple Brandy (Calvados is always recommended, even if it’s a bit spendy) if serving to the adult (and non-driving) population. Others might just prefer the cider straight up, or mixed with tea. Combining tea with a recipe containing juices like this is not only a great way to cut cost, but to cut calories.
So serve this at home for a nice treat, pour it into a thermos or two for an outing, or serve it at a party! Left overs are easily stored right back in the apple cider jug, after they’ve been strained, to be reheated later. A larger quantity may be simmered down, with a little sugar, to make a little cider syrup.
This recipe is easy and versatile, so feel free to riff and/or adjust to your taste. Since the little “cuties” were on sale at our store, I used them this time.
Warm Mulled Cider
- 1 gallon apple cider
- Juice and peel of one orange (peel it first, leaving behind any white pith, then juice)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, but may be increased)
- 8 whole allspice berries
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of brandy (optional)
- garnish: thinly sliced orange or other citrus
Mix all ingredients but brandy and garnish in a large saucepan, bring to bare simmer, but do not boil. Simmer at least 30 minutes. Strain spices, if desired, and serve; the mixture may continue to concentrate in flavor if the spices are left in, so taste and decide. Brandy may be mixed in or simply passed on the side.
May be made in a crockpot, but for speed you may wish to bring to a simmer on the stove and then transfer to the crockpot to keep the cider warm for guests.
Consider serving this cider with very little sugar in it, but passing little cubes of sugar for those who wish to adjust to taste.
from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
8 ounce serving, minimum sugar, no alcohol: Calories 135; Total Fat 0 g 0 %; Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %; Monounsaturated Fat 0 g;
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %; Sodium 35 mg 1 %; Potassium 172 mg 5 %; Total Carbohydrate 34 g 11 %; Dietary Fiber 1 g 4 %; Sugars 32 g; Protein 0 g 0 %; Vitamin A 0 %; Vitamin C 23 %; Calcium 3 %; Iron 5 %
Put your own spin on it:
- Tastes certainly vary, so feel free to vary and adjust spicing and sweetness to your own.
- Don’t like Brandy? Try this with rum, whiskey or another favorite alcohol.
Hint: Always prewarm your thermos with very hot water. Lid and let sit until you’re ready to pour in your cider.