It's Day 4 of 25 Days of Hot Holiday Hints! Author Lila Shaw explains how to fill your home with the delicious scents of the holidays with mulled cider. Be sure to leave a comment for Lila because we are giving away a $5 gift card to one random commenter each day!
One of my favorite seasonal treats and scents is mulled cider. The hot drink is super easy to make, especially if you use a crockpot, and the spicy aroma will permeate your home. Perfect for a blustery cold day or for a party.
All you need is a gallon of apple cider and some mulling spices you probably already have in your pantry, especially if you bake. You can tie up your spices in a square of cheesecloth or create a makeshift "teabag" with a coffee filter and some twine to tie it shut. I sometimes throw my spices in loose, but then I have to strain the cider before serving to remove the debris.
I use the following spices:
· Cinnamon sticks, about four (4)
· Whole allspice (1 tablespoon)
· Whole cloves (1 tablespoon)
· Ground Nutmeg, black peppercorns, cardamom pods (optional and to taste)
Some recipes also call for about 1/2 cup of brown sugar and a whole orange sliced. I prefer my cider more tart than sweet, so I do not include those. Your taste buds may say, "Yes, please!"
Throw all your ingredients in a crockpot, cover and set the heat to low, allowing the spices to steep in the cider for several hours. Make it in the morning and forget it, not that you can with that yummy autumn scent filling your home.
Did you know that cinnamon is a natural aphrodisiac? Spend the evening with your loved one and some mulled cider and find out how true this is!
P.S. If you choose to spike your mulled cider, I won't tattle. I'd recommend a little Captain Morgan's spiced rum, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey or Pinnacle Atomic Hot Vodka. Add the alcohol just before serving. Shhh...
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