Mulled Apple Cider
Hello! As I discovered it as a student in the Boston area, there is nothing quite like a serving of mulled apple cider to stay warm and cosy in the Fall and Winter seasons, when days are shorter, nights longer and temperature keeps dropping. As December is already here, this festive apple cider is also the perfect drink to quick start the holidays season.
I found that non-alcoholic apple cider is rather hard to come by in France. So, I just learnt to make my own. During Fall and Winter, I always keep apples to have them just their own as a healthy snacks, chopped with my müsli for breakfast and as a compote or apple sauce that I use in my plant based baked goods, such as my brownie or almond whoopies.
Mulled cider is a bit long to make but really easy! There is actually a much quicker way to make it, less than 15 minutes all in all using a powerful blender with a hot soup option such as my Vitamix by throwing all the ingredients in there but, honestly, having made it both ways, I like the slow one way better. Not only it tastes better (the spices and fruits have time to mix together, and fully develop their respective flavors) but the process is much more enjoyable. It is just a wonderful way to press the pause button and enjoy making an awesome drink with and/or to share it with loved ones over candle lights on a cold Winter evening.
Ingredients for About 1.5 L
5 organic apples roughly chopped in quarter
1 orange roughly chopped in quarter
1 table spoon of maple syrup or other natural sweetener of your choice (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks
A pinch of ground nutmeg
3 L filtered water
1 or 2 star anis
1 vanilla pod
Put all spices, excluding the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod in a tea diffuser and thrown all ingredients in a pot. Then, heat it on a stove at low temperature and let it cook for at least an hour, stirring frequently. The apples and orange will literally melt. With the help of a spoon, mash them into compote. Cook for another hour.
Using a nut milk bag, cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer, transfer the cider to a different pot, it is ready!
Do not throw the apple and orange compote, and use them in baking, for example by incorporating them to gingerbread cookies dough instead of classic apple sauce.
One of the nicest side effects of making mulled cider the long way, is that your home will smell incredibly festive afterwards.
You can save your mulled apple cider for up to 5 days in your refrigerator. Make sure to heat it just below boiling point before serving. Get all wintery and festive by having it with gingerbread cookies, yummy chesnut cookies and/or almond whoopies.
Serve hot in a big mug or bowl, hug it, bundle up in your favorite sweater and cosy up with loved ones drinking your homemade non-alcoholic mulled apple cider.