As winter approaches, the aroma of hot mulled cider wafts over New York City’s Greenmarkets. It’s a real treat to sip this spicy Holiday treat while you’re shopping on a cold fall or winter’s day, and happily it is also a perfect seasonal non-alcoholic drink for holiday parties. It’s easy to make. Just use cloudy unpasteurized non-alcoholic cider and cook it with whole spices, not ground which can make the cider murky looking. In any event, if like us you put most of the spices into a bag, they will be easy for you to remove. And experiment with the spices to find the blend that suits you best. You don’t need to add sugar as there’s plenty in the juice. By the way, if you have a slow cooker, use it for this recipe. It takes all thought out of it. You’ll find the timing in Ann’s Tips Enjoy!
- Stud the orange all over with the cloves. Set aside. Place the star anise, ginger root, and allspice berries on a square of cheesecloth and tie to make a bag. This will secure the spices.
- In large pot, at least 5 quarts, place the cinnamon sticks, orange studded with cloves, and the spice bag. Pour the cider over them. Bring to a low simmer over a medium high heat. Cover, and lower the heat to low. Cook at a low simmer for 11/2 – 2 hours. (see Ann’s Tips)
- When ready to serve, carefully remove the spice bag, cinnamon sticks and the orange – the orange will be very soft. You may have to strain the cider if too many of the spices have escaped. Return to the stove and keep warm on a very low flame. Serve hot.
1 small navel orange
12 whole cloves
1 piece star anise (optional)
1 “ ginger root cut into 8 slices
6 -8 allspice berries
3 cinnamon sticks
1 gallon unpasteurized non-alcoholic apple cider
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If you have a slow cooker that’s large enough for this, follow recipe as above but cook for 4 hours.
You can put the spices into a metal tea strainer if you have one big enough.