This warm mulled apple cider with sweet spices, fresh cranberries and oranges is the perfect non-alcoholic Christmas drink that even kids can enjoy.
Next in my #ChristmasRecipeSeries is this heart-warming, soul-nourishing mulled apple cider. Warm, sweet, slightly tangy and absolutely delicious, mulled cider is the perfect winter drink. Lighter than a mug of hot chocolate but equally warming, it is easily made right at home.
Mulled cider and mulling spice kits are readily available in stores, but when you can make them so easily at home, why go the store-bought route? Moreover, I like to use a blend of fruits. Apples, oranges and cranberries go so well together this time of year. The same goes for the spices used. My secret ingredient is a couple of pods of crushed green cardamom along with cinnamon, cloves and a dash of nutmeg.
Apples are a wonderful fruit to have on hand this time of year. Saute them with some cinnamon and sugar and fill them in pies or tarts, top Dutch pancakes or even French toast. I like to bake them in cakes and cupcakes too.
And, the next best thing to make with apples? Warm mulled apple cider or juice, of course!
You can use cranberry juice along with the apple juice. But I like to cook down a few berries with brown sugar before simmering the apple juice, and them strain them out. That way the cranberries do not overpower the apples and adds this lovely golden red color as well. Isn’t it like winter sunrise in a cup?
Mulled apple cider is not something I grew up with, but something I picked up over the years in the States. And now, I love this as a warm, non-alcoholic winter beverage.
Do try this mulled cranberry apple cider as a great non-alcoholic Christmas drink choice for your guests this year. And don’t forget the cardamom. You will have people asking you for the secret mulling spice recipe!
- Cranberries - ⅔ cup plus extra for garnish, fresh or frozen
- Brown sugar - ¼ cup, light or dark
- Apple juice - 3 cups (can use apple cider too)
- Orange juice - ½ cup, freshly squeezed
- Orange - 1, cut into slices
- Cinnamon stick - 1
- Cloves - 4
- Green cardamom pods - 2, lightly crushed to release flavor
- Nutmeg - to grate on top
- Take ⅔ cup cranberries and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook till berries burst and soften, 7-8 minutes.
- Add apple juice, orange juice, orange slices, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain to remove cranberries, orange slices and mulling spices.
- Serve warm mulled cider in cups garnished with fresh cranberries and a bit of grated nutmeg.
2. Feel free to spike your drink with rum or bourbon!
Enjoy a warm cup of homemade mulled apple cider, put on some Christmas music and enjoy the twinkling tree lights! What a wonderful way to spend cold winter evenings, no?!!
Have you tried making mulled apple cider at home? What are your favorite add-ins? Do try this version with cranberries and oranges.
Want more Holiday recipes? Check out this page for all recipes under #ChristmasRecipeSeries.
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