Happy Hour

Mulled Apple Cider

Hot mulled cider has been one of my holiday traditions as long as I can remember. There’s nothing like a warm mug of sweet apple threaded with comforting fall spices to warm you up on a cool fall afternoon! Spike it with a little bourbon and it’s a hug for your insides in a bottle. But I’ve stopped pre-spiking the cider before I bring it anywhere.

Years ago, I went to Thanksgiving at one of my best friend’s houses, bringing my honey ham with apricot glaze, which I’ll share soon, and a thermos of my mulled bourbon apple cider. I arrived, poured myself a cup, and went to help with dinner thinking nothing of it.

Not too long after,I noticed my friend and his father acting a little woozy and asked if they were okay. My friend’s dad replied that he must have had a heavier hand than he thought pouring cognac into the cider, or else they were just turning into lightweights.

I told them how much bourbon was already in the cider along with the cognac they added!

That thermos ended up getting finished off anyway, it was too good. But from then on, I decided I would hold off on adding any spirits to the cider unless I was the one serving it!

The recipe here starts with cider, but most cider in our house starts from fresh fruit. You won’t see us adding sugar to the fresh stuff, but I might add a bit of brown sugar to plain store bought cider. I don’t know if Ina Garten would approve of all this, but we’re practical about these things here.

If you’re going to make your own, you need about 3-4 pounds {1.7 kg} of apples to produce a liter of juice typically. To get the juice, you can use a press. I prefer to use my trusty juicer. With the juicer, I wash and slice the apples and the juicer removes all the skin and most of the apple. I typically will remove the stem and pop out the seeds,but you don’t have to.

I’ve probably had this juicer a dozen years but it still works like a champ!

And voila, cider. Skim off the foam and pulp to your liking {Scott prefers I leave some of it in}, and you’re ready to make some spiced warm inside-hugging deliciousness!

Mulled Apple Cider

Makes about 1 liter

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 liter apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 orange, sliced

How to Make It:

1. Add all ingredients to a large sauce pan or stock pot. Bring to a low boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

2. Strain out the spices and as much pulp as you care to {as needed}.

3. Serve in mugs with oranges, cinnamon sticks, or both to garnish!

For a little more kick, you can also add rum, cognac, cinnamon schnapps, whisky, or the aforementioned bourbon. Just make sure no one has beaten you to spiking the cider first!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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