Brrrr. The frost covered the pumpkin patch last night and it was so cold in my house this morning. But, I am up bright and early with a hot spicy drink to help you take the edge off these freezing temperatures that have us in their grip this very cold week. I’ve been enjoying steaming mugs of Hot Apple Cider Tea from The Republic of Tea all week but decided over the weekend to make a satisfying hot drink using my tea, apple cider and cranberry juice steeped with a few favorite spices.
Which got me to thinking, what does mulled cider mean? It means steeping or heating sweetened cider with with spices, like cinnamon, cloves, star anise and citrus fruit, like orange slices or cranberries. Mulled cider is popular when it’s cold outside and sometimes is served with rum or brandy but it’s also good served without alcohol and makes a good hot drink for kids. The Hot Apple Cider Tea that I steeped to make my mulled cranberry apple cider tea is caffeine-free and made with a blend of dried apple pieces and spices.
I used apples, oranges, cranberries, juices and spices that I had on hand in my kitchen, kind of nice to make a hot drink that everybody likes without even having to make a trip outside (brrrr) to the store. I know this icy cold weather will pass and even now I can see the bright blue sky outside my window. Cold but clear, perfect day for a brisk walk in the neighborhood-stay warm everybody!
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 2 cups apple cider or juice
- 2 & 1/2 cups water, to make tea
- 2 tea bags, I used Hot Apple Cider Tea bags
- 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more to garnish mugs
- 1 slice of fresh ginger
- 1 star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 pink peppercorns
- 2 oranges
- 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
- Honey and brown rock sugar or sweetener of your choice to taste
- Bring the water to a boil, brew the tea and place in a large pot on the stove.
- Add the cranberry juice and apple cider/juice to the pot.
- Slice large pieces of zest off one of the oranges and add to the pot.
- Add 2 of the cinnamon sticks.
- Add the ginger, star anise, cloves, cardamom and pink peppercorns.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer for 30 minutes, remove from the heat.
- Place a lid on the pot and continue to steep the mulled cider for 10 minutes.
- Sweeten to taste, I used brown rock sugar and honey.
- Serve hot in mugs garnished with slices of oranges, cranberries and cinnamon sticks.