This is my favourite winter warmer, and it’s especially great to welcome guests with at Christmas-time! It’s incredibly easy, and fills the house with some incredible smells. You can make it non-alcoholic by substituting the cider for more apple juice, and leaving out the rum/calvados. Give it a try – even if you don’t normally like cider. I don’t, but this is quite another drink. Enjoy!
(makes enough for about 8 people)
A litre and a half of cider
A litre of apple juice
1 orange, studded with cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
3 mulling ‘teabags’
1 tbsp sugar
A splash of spiced rum or calvados
Half an orange, sliced
First things first, pour all the cider and apple juice into a big pan, and bring it to the boil to burn off some of the alcohol, the fizz and to bring out the flavours a bit.
Then you can add the clove-studded orange, the cinnamon sticks, the mulling sachets and the sugar. Using the sachets is a welcome cheat! You can of course make your own mulling spice mix, but these sachets are available at most good supermarkets at a pretty inexpensive price.
Let the mixture simmer and incorporate the delicious flavours – it will start to smell fantastic at this stage! You can add the orange slices now, or put them straight in glasses or mugs when you serve. Make sure you taste it to test the flavours – you might want to add more sugar, or leave it to cook for longer.
Relatively soon before serving, add the rum or calvados. Pour yourself a large glass and enjoy!