Curling up with a mug of steaming mulled cider is a lovely thing this chilly, dank time of year, but I beg you, don’t get those silly, frilly, expensive little kits to make your cider with. Making showstopping spiced cider is stupid easy and much less expensive than getting a little bag with too many difference spices that muddy the flavor and have added sugar besides. Seriously. Good spiced cider is easy.
For a gallon of store-bought apple cider:
1.5 sticks cinnamon
3-5 cloves (5 is a lot)
half an orange – squeeze all the juice out of it into the cider that you can, then drop the remaining pulp and peel into the cider.
Brandy for serving (optional)
Of course I try to get some local apple juice/cider, ’cause I live in good apple country, and without preservatives just on principle.
The Pot I use a crockpot because it will keep a low, even temperature for hours. If you don’t mind keeping an eye on it, you can use a pot on the stove. Just try not to let this actually simmer.
Alternate Method I suppose you could make a tea of the spices, but I don’t bother – I just drop them in the cider, put the lid on and (because I’m using a crockpot) turn the dial to “Low”. And walk away.
Serving Do strain out the spice debris when you’re ladling this into a mug to serve. A tablespoon of brandy is a nice fortifier, though absolutely not necessary.