Steamed milk. Hot tea with honey. Salted caramel hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. Gin and bourbon hot toddies with lemon. Warmed, mulled cider. The nights may be growing chillier with each passing day, but luckily, the possibilities are endless for devising ways to stay cozy and warm. There’s nothing quite like reviving your frozen self with a hot cup of tea or even better, a slightly boozy beverage designed to help you forget about the frost on your windowpanes.
The following recipe is one that I discovered during my recent Thanksgiving festivities; it’s great for large cold-weather gatherings, or to make for a party of just one or two. If you don’t have a fireplace to warm up next to (oh, how great would that be?), try this recipe for Mulled Apple Cider instead. I promise it will melt your winter blues quickly away.
Mulled Apple Cider (serves 6)
- 3 cups fresh-squeezed apple juice. *Apple cider works great too, but keep in mind that it will require less seasoning on your part. Your local farmer’s market should still be carrying fresh apple juice/cider.
- 2 cups dry red wine of your choice.
- 1 grapefruit, thinly sliced. *You can substitute the grapefruit for another citrus of your choice, such as lemon.
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- Cinnamon, whole and ground
- Nutmeg, whole and ground
- Cloves, whole and ground
To prepare, combine the apple juice and red wine in a pot over low heat. Next, add your citrus, apple, and a handful of your cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, to taste. You can make your cider as mild or “spiced” as you like, so use as much or as little of the spices as necessary. Simply warm all of the ingredients and serve!
I could sip on this warm mulled cider, reading or knitting for hours and completely forget about how cold it is outside! Best of all, you should be able to find all of the ingredients at a local marketplace, and apple-infused libations are a big hit right now. What is your favorite kind of comforting winter beverage? Do you have any great recipes?