Mulling cider doesn’t just give you something delicious to sip on, it also fills your house with the loveliest aroma imaginable. The trick to mulling is to bring the heat up gradually and let it simmer for a good amount of time, so it fills your house up with that yummy smell for hours. When I make this for tailgating or a bonfire, I make a whole bunch in my crock pot, even easier! Just throw in the ingredients and let it heat! When I make this for Dave and me, I just make two cups in a little pan.
3 cups of apple cider (I just use the mugs we’re going to drink from to measure – three mugs)
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 whole cloves (not ground)
¼ Orange peel (optional)
1 shot of Rum (optional)
There are a few different ingredients you can use for mulled cider, I consider some optional and some a must have. The three must haves are cider, cinnamon stick, and cloves, all else optional (Though Dave might tell you that rum is a must have) there are really only two things to remember to make the best mulled cider: one don’t boil it, heat it slowly, and two, use whole spices, and not ground. That’s it, the rest is easy.
Dump the cider in a sauce pan, then add the cinnamon stick and the cloves. Slowly bring the cider up to a bubbly heat, then reduce the temperature to a low simmer. Let it heat for about 30 minutes. The cider reduces down a little, thus the three cups to start with, you should end up with two. I like to pull the cloves out before I serve. If you want rum, now’s the time to add it. Give it a stir then pour or ladle into mugs, if you want to get fancy, you can add a cinnamon stick to the mug.
When I make a big batch of this in the crock pot, I add almost a whole orange peel. If you’re like me and you got one of those zester tools as a gift, you can use that. But, I’ll admit that I usually just use a paring knife to cut off the orange skin. You want to try not to get too much of the white part of the orange. My crock pot fits just about a gallon of cider and I use about 5-6 cinnamon sticks and a 1 teaspoon of whole cloves. On low, heat the cider for about 2 hours. I usually take this to an outdoor event, so after the two hours, I turn it up to high for about a half hour or more to get it nice and hot for transport. You can also mull cider in a big coffee urn if you have one, my mom always made wassail that way for parties.