I don’t know about you, but warm mulled cider immediately puts me in an autumnal state of mind. Wrapping my hands around a mug full of it is like swaddling my soul in a down comforter. It calms me down, cheers me up and reminds me of all the best things about fall.
That said, I’m picky about my mulled cider. Even if a brand proclaims it’s the world’s best…I’m still gonna make my own. Because to me, mulled cider isn’t just a beverage—it’s a ritual. Toasting the fragrant spices, slicing up the crisp apple and bright, zesty orange, and allowing my home to fill with these amazing aromas in the meantime is the perfect way to say good-bye to summer and hello to all things fall.
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Makes 8 one-cup servings
- 1/2 gallon apple cider (unspiced) or apple juice
- 1/4 cup mulling spices
- 5″ square of cheesecloth
- Baker’s twine or string
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Cinnamon sticks, orange slices and apple slices for garnish (optional)
- Start by toasting the mulling spices in a small saucepan over medium heat, shaking the pan often until spices begin to smell fragrant. At no point should the pan begin to smoke. Once fragrant, remove the mulling spices from heat immediately.
- Create a sachet for the mulling spices by carefully tipping them into the center of the square of cheesecloth, gathering the corners of the cheesecloth into the center, and tying off the bundle with baker’s twine.
- Add the toasted spice sachet, apple cider/juice and fruit slices to a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Bring contents just to a boil, then lower the heat so that the cider sits at a bare simmer.
- Cover the stockpot or Dutch oven with a lid so the cider doesn’t reduce too much. Allow it to simmer for at least an hour.
- Before serving the mulled cider, remove the spice sachet and the fruit slices, and stir in vanilla and the pinch of salt.
- Ladle mulled cider into mugs and garnish to your liking with cinnamon sticks, fresh fruit slices.
- Mulling spices can usually be found in the baking/spice aisle of your grocery store, even off season. I was able to find them in July!
- It’s best to use whole spices—or as whole as you can get. Don’t use ground spices, as they don’t dissolve and will leave your mulled cider gritty or with a sediment at the bottom.
- Leftover mulled cider will keep well under refrigeration for at least two weeks.
- If you want to make this an adult beverage, I recommend adding an ounce or two of good spiced rum to 8 ounces of mulled cider.
Want more ways to welcome fall? Here you go!