This mulled cranberry-apple cider tastes fantastic served hot or cold, and can be brewed especially for Halloween festivities or made throughout the fall and winter, for a treat. The trick is to slowly heat the cider with the spices and citrus zest, so all of the flavors can steep. It’s a nice, warming drink to sip while greeting trick-or-treaters, or to have on a frigid fall evening. The cranberry juice adds some tartness to the sweetness of the drink, so it’s not overly sweet.
Witches Brewed Mulled Cranberry-Apple Cider can be served with or without alcohol. Rum or brandy can be added at the end, if desired.
- 4 cups (1 quart) apple cider or unfiltered apple juice (fresh squeezed apple juice may be used)
- 4 cups (1 quart) fruit juice sweetened or naturally sweetened (no refined cane sugar) cranberry juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, or coconut palm sugar, or sucanat
- 4 allspice berries or ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 whole cloves or ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 star anise pods
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- Zest (peels) of 1 lemon, white pith removed (see instructions)
- Zest (peels) of 1 orange, white pith removed (see instructions)
- 1 1/2 cups spiced or dark rum or brandy (optional)
Remove the peels from the citrus with a vegetable peeler a strip at a time, remove any of the bitter white pith by scraping off with the side of a knife.
Add all of the ingredients to a large pot, and simmer over low heat, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a large bowl or glass pitcher. Add rum or brandy if using. Serve immediately or reheat to serve, or cool and chill in the refrigerator and serve cold. Each glass can be garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple slices if desired.
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