Mulled Apple Cider


Try mulled cider for one fall’s simplest but most satisfying pleasures.

By FamilyTime

 

Mulled apple cider is nothing more exotic than heated, spiced cider. It may be spiked with brandy or whiskey, or it may be served with no alcoholic embellishment. Regardless of how you like it, it’s outstanding!

Some folks look forward to hot apple cider in the same way they look forward to springtime’s first fresh squeezed lemonade and summer’s first glass of brewed iced tea.

You may not have as romantic a notion about mulled cider, but you probably won’t turn down a steaming mug, either.

Buying and Storing Cider
In recent years, consumers have been hesitant to drink unpasteurized apple cider, fearing it might be contaminated by E coli or other foodborne bacteria. For this reason, food safety advocates suggest buying pasteurized apple cider.

Apple growers say there is no discernible difference in taste between the two ciders, if the cider has been pasteurized properly. They also say unpasteurized cider is safe, although people with compromised immune systems, the very young and the elderly might want to avoid it.

Buy cider from reliable merchants or orchards. Buy it cold and keep it refrigerated. If you have any doubt about, bring it to a boil before drinking it.

Making Mulled Cider
Mulled cider is always served hot. This means you can use reliable unpasteurized cider as well as pasteurized. Heat it gently to at least 160 degrees F. Let the spices simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.

You can buy mulling spices in specialty stores, supermarkets, and gift shops. Some are sold in little sachet packets that you remove before serving.

You can also create your own sachet packets or add spices to the cider and then strain them from the hot cider before serving.

The most common spices for mulled cider are cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg – the very same ones we expect to find in apple pie!

Some recipes also call for ginger, oranges,lemons, allspice, and even brown sugar and butter.

Some mulled cider cooks add thinly sliced apples to the hot brew. Many serve the cider with long cinnamon sticks for stirring and decoration. In a few recipes, cooks suggest topping the cider with whipped cream.

For those cold, windy autumn nights, many mulled cider aficionados pour a slug of applejack or Calvados (apple brandy) into the mug – or perhaps a few drams of bourbon or rum. This gives mulled cider a kick!