Easy mulled cider

·3-min read
Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

Mulled cider is the perfect winter warmer. There is nothing nicer than being tucked up inside, while the weather outside is turning colder, with a glass of something hot and spicy.

Mulled drinks (such as mulled wine, mulled gin, mulled punch) make the perfect Christmas tipple and with the popularity of cider rising, we think you should give a mulled cider recipe a go.

Like mulled wine, mulled cider is easy to prepare in bigger batches, which makes it a great drink for serving lots of guests at one time. This recipe takes just 15-20 minutes to prepare. You can buy jars of pre-mixed mulling spice to save time, but for this recipe, we've added a mix of bay leaves, star anise, cloves, vanilla and cinnamon which fill the kitchen with festive aromas.

We’ve chosen a more rustic-tasting, scrumpy cider for this recipe and the key thing is to make sure you don’t allow it to boil over (see our tip on how to make mulled cider below) and also allow it to cool a little.

How to make mulled cider

Here are some of our top tips, followed by our best mulled cider recipe.

Which is the best cider to use in mulled cider?

Full-bodied, dry and cloudy ciders that thin out when heated, are often a popular choice to mull.

A sweet cider with a strong apple flavour is preferable, but it's also important that there's a hint of acidity to cut through the syrupy richness that too sweet a cider can result in.

Tart ciders can be used, but just be sure to add more sugar. Similarly, very sweet ciders can be used, but add extra acidity, such as a squeeze of lemon, at the end of mulling.

Which spices can be used in mulled cider?

Spices that compliment that flavour of apple best are:

  • Cardamom

  • Cinnamon

  • Star Anise

  • Cloves

  • Ginger

If you like a highly spiced flavour to your mulled cider, then make sure to toast your spices first in a dry pan to get the best flavour out of them. A combination of any of your favourite spices can be used, so experiment and see what you like best. Remember to strain out any spices before serving to prevent any unwanted bits when sipping!

How to make mulled cider

We recommend mulling your cider on a low heat (never allow it to boil), and once it starts simmering, instantly remove it from the heat and leave it to infuse. This will prevent the cider from reducing too much which would result in an overly sweet flavour and syrupy texture, or from the cider/spices from burning, which would leave it bitter tasting.

Mulled cider recipe

Hands-on time 5 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes, plus 5 minutes infusing.

Serves 4-6

Mulled Cider Ingredients

  • 1litre good dry cider, scrumpy is best for this

  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 star anise

  • 8 cloves

  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways

  • 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half

  • Juice 1 orange, plus 1 sliced.

Mulled Cider Method

In a large pan stir all the ingredients together apart from the orange slices, cover the pan with a lid and bring slowly up to a simmer, this will take about 10 minutes.

Once the cider is bubbling, turn off the heat, add the orange slices and leave the lid on to infuse for 5 minutes. Pour into heatproof glasses or mugs.

Garnish with the orange slices, and cinnamon sticks if you like.

Added booziness

If you'd like to add even more warmth to your mulled cider, additional alcohols, such as sloe gin, calvados or brandy, can be added sparingly.

Storage

Mulled cider can be kept in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in a pan.

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